Of popular packages removed from testing, and the Ultimate Debian Database GSOC project

Some time ago, there was some flamewars^H^Hdebate about the Release Team’s removals of RC-buggy packages from testing. Basically, some people claimed that popular packages shouldn’t be removed, even if RC-buggy.

But, do we really miss popular packages in testing?

It’s difficult to know. You could get the popcon data, and compare it with the Packages files for testing and unstable. Or work with source packages (which removes a lot of noise), but then, you have to convert the popcon data (which uses binary packages names) to source packages. Not completely trivial.

That’s where the Ultimate Debian Database GSOC project comes to the rescue. The goal of Christian von Essen’s project is to gather data from various sources in Debian into a single SQL DB, so queries that combine all those data sources can easily be written.

For example, here is the query that lists the source packages that are in unstable, but not in testing, sorted by their popcon (using the number of insts of the most popular binary package of the source package as value for the source package):

SELECT DISTINCT unstable.package, insts
WHERE distribution = 'debian' and release = 'sid') AS unstable, popcon_src
WHERE unstable.package NOT IN (
   SELECT package FROM sources
   WHERE distribution = 'debian' AND release = 'lenny')
AND popcon_src.source = unstable.package ORDER BY insts DESC;

And the results are available on the web!

Top packages (> 1000 insts):

lzo	64962
gnome-cups-manager	32346
db4.6	20708
ffmpeg-debian	12908
freetype1	10569
flashplugin-nonfree	7116
perlftlib	6769
nvidia-graphics-drivers	3864
wxwindows2.4	3640
dvi2tty	2239
kdebase-runtime	1725
easytag	1717
g-wrap	1582
yaird	1507
slocate	1499
youtube-dl	1390
hugin	1275
w3c-libwww	1058

Interested in UDD? Join #debian-qa or debian-qa@lists.d.o (or talk to me @DebConf!)

8 thoughts on “Of popular packages removed from testing, and the Ultimate Debian Database GSOC project

  1. Nice job trivialising mine and others very real problems about things like missing Key packages in tasks as a “flamewars^H^Hdebate”. — Joey Hess

  2. By “source” you and Lucas mean “upstream source name” as opposed to debian source name? i.e. perlftlib (upstream source) is libft-perl in debian.

  3. So there is no hard and fast requirement that a debian source package has to build a deb binary with the same name as the source package. In the debian-perl group the practice I follow is to create the source package as libfoo-bar-perl and the resulting deb gets the same name. I suppose this package was introduced before the perl policy which maybe why I had a hard time finding it in the PTS.

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