Removing obsolete packages for fun and profit -- Eric Dorland

2014-08-26 16:00..16:45 in Room 327

For various reasons, obsolete packages can accumulate in Debian. They may be old versions kept around for compatibility. They may be things long obsoleted by a newer piece of software. Eventually, they're all cruft cluttering up our beautiful archive.

I'll briefly walk through the work I did to remove old versions of automake from the archive, including dramatized accounts of bug filings, NMUs, tools used, and maintainers cajoled. Then I'll lead a discussion of how we can make this easier, around these areas:

  • Tools that are missing that could make this easier.
  • How to encourage maintainers to do the right thing.
  • Best ways to proceed with mass bug filings & NMUs.
  • What to do about the long tail of broken packages and obstinate maintainers.

Hopefully we can share techniques and come up with ideas to make this easier in the future.


Eric Dorland