Unmaintained Repository Was: Spoke too early

Andreas Wenning subscriptions at awen.dk
Sun Apr 26 17:32:56 BST 2009

Hi Martin

On Sunday 26 April 2009 17:58:20 Martin Owens wrote:
> Hey Andreas,
> > The fact is, that we don't like to have unmaintained packages in the
> > archive, kdvi in this case is one of them. It was re-introduced in
> > intrepid solely to fill the gap for some features missing in okular. (If
> > some people starts maintaining it and releases new versions, it can of
> > course be packaged again).
> There is an interesting protocol here, you remove any package which is
> no longer maintained upstream? Do you have a page where you keep the
> relevant rules about these things? I would like to read up on it.

I'm sorry if that sounded to definite. I think you read my words a bit too 
harsh there. The "don't like" simply means that it counts to the negative side 
of keeping the package.

> I wouldn't think that removing unmaintained packages just because they
> no longer have an upstream maintainer to be a bad idea, limiting and too
> destructive of user choice.

Exactly; I completely agree!

> More usefully would be to assess the bit-rot, number of bugs, any
> critical or security issues which makes it dangerous. This package here
> looks like it works in jaunty, baring any security issues I see no
> reason why it should be removed. (although I'm sure these things are
> assesed in due process)

The transition to KDE4 from KDE3 has left a large number of packages which 
slowly is being ported to KDE4 or is being replaced by new applications in 

Kdvi is one of those and in the situation that upstream has replaced it with 
Okular. There is of course the situation where important features are not in 
place in the new application, and that was the reason for keeping Kdvi.

At the point where Kdvi was removed:
- All important features that had been reported as missing in Okular compared 
to Kdvi, had now been added to Okular.
- Kdvi is unmaintained.
- Kdvi is an KDE3 application where a KDE4 replacement exists.
So those three things combined was the reason for removing it.

> The other option is to move these things to an "unmaintained" repository
> where users can have the initiative to install things they want but also
> be made aware of it's unmaintained nature (perhaps even encouraging
> developers to maintain it). At least then people wouldn't have to go
> digging around for PPAs.

An interesting thought. Installing the package from the previous version of 
Ubuntu is also an option in many cases. And that would actually give you some 
form of "maintenance" of the package at least until the EOL of the previous 

But again, the packages will normally not be removed solely because of it 
being unmaintained. Normally it is a combination of that and the package 
simply not working or being replaced.

> MOTO: What has been made, is available; what is yet to be done, costs to
> do.
> Although what to do about packages such as the recent Eclipse packages,
> which are maintained upstream, but not in our packaging.
> Best Regards, Martin Owens


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