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Re: multimedia/vlc{,2,21}

On Sun, 15 Mar 2015 11:35:29 -0400 Greg Troxel <> wrote:
> Certainly it's fair to put a note in the PRs asking the submitters to
> etiher retest with vlc21 or to explain why that isn't a reasonable
> approach.

Actually, I'm the PR submitter, and I've already tested and reported
that the bug in question has been fixed in more recent vlc versions.
But since these more recent versions are in separate pkgsrc packages,
the fact that they've fixed the bug is irrelevant; the original buggy
multimedia/vlc is still in the tree.

> My usual request: proposing deletion should explain when the
> to-be-deleted packages were EOLed, or superceded, and why it's fair to
> say to anyone still using them that they are delinquent for not
> updating (that's a bit harsh, but captures the point). [...]

Your points are well taken, and I should probably not have presented
this as a package-deletion decision.  Or at least not initially.  The
question I really should have asked is whether anyone on pkgsrc-users
(the listed maintainer) has any interest in multimedia/vlc and is
prepared to help me fix it, or whether everyone has, in fact, already
moved on to more recent versions not suffering from the PR/49447, as I
have.  Polling pkgsrc-users is an imperfect proxy for polling the users
of pkgsrc, but I didn't have any better ideas.

Put more harshly, should I, or the deeply valued volunteers who spend
their spare time helping me with the PRs I file, invest time and energy
in fixing a package that none of us use anymore?

> > At a minimum, would it be worth renaming packages so that
> > multimedia/vlc points to the most recent version on offer rather
> > than the most ancient one?
> Renaming generally feels like unnecessary churn to me.  I've come to
> believe (somehat fuzzily - this is not meant to be doctrine) that
> packages (upstreams really) fall into two categories: ones for which
> there is enough attention to backwards compatibility and lack of bloat
> and therefore it's reasonable to just have one version in pkgsrc, and
> ones which have enough issues that there tends to be a need/desire for
> multiple versions.
> [...]
> So if multimedia/vlc were removed, that would fix the "why isn't vlc
> current" issue, and pave the way for vlc22 or whatever eventually.

I'm mostly judging from the way firefox has been handled, but at least
for user-facing applications (as opposed to libraries, programming
language interpreters etc.), it makes sense to me that the versionless
package name would correspond to what one would generally install by
default (i.e. latest stable or supported version), and that package
names with baked in versions should be of interest only to those who
have a specific requirement for an unusual older version.  I don't want
to have to change the names of the packages I install just to follow
routine progress.

I offer those opinions with all due humility.  You're contributing way
more than I ever have, and I do agree with your general position that
package removal decisions should be properly motivated.  Consider this
thread preliminary research so that I can decide whether to write a
better package-deletion proposal later.


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