16 Apr 2003 jaldhar   » (Journeyer)

dovecot .debs
As there are no better ideas, today I'm going to split up the dovecot package into 4 pieces. Here is the background. Dovecot is an IMAP server that like all IMAP servers listens on port 143 (or 993 for IMAP over SSL.) This means in Debian package dependency terms that dovecot must 'Provide:' the virtual package imap-server. It also needs to 'Conflict:' with imap-server because only one daemon can have the port. Now it has gained a POP3 server component. So it also has to provide and conflict with pop3-server for the same reason. The thing is it is possible that a user may want the IMAP server but turn off the POP3 server and use, say, qpopper instead. But he can't install qpopper because it also provides pop3-server which conflicts with dovecot. The only solution is to split it into dovecot-imap and dovecot-pop3 with dovecot-common for the shared bits. The fourth package called dovecot is simply a dummy which installs dovecot-imap to allow smooth upgrades. This is one area where Gentoo has us beat at the moment. I don't know if there is an ebuild for dovecot but theoretically hey can specify "give me just the IMAP piece not the POP3" in some configuration somewhere. It will be interesting to see if Debian can come up with some solution to this. Having lots of little packages around is icky. The dummy package could be avoided by having dpkg use a field called 'Replacement-for:' or similiar (not 'Replaces:' which is something else.) IIRC, this idea was suggested before but no one ever implemented it.

Deadbeat Maintainers
Wow it looks like asuffield went through with his list of maintainers with excessive old release-critical bugs. Although there may be some false positives this is an important first step in getting rid of some of the cruft (human and package) in Debian which we desperately need to do if we ever hope to release sarge anytime soon.

Taxes (or Dear Prudence)
Another gorgeous day. Too bad I had to spend most of it running around doing my taxes. Last year was our worst ever financially thanks to the rotten economy but we still kept up our quality of life thanks to prudent budgeting and investments. Some of our friends who went nuts during the dot-com bubble are really hurting though.

Happy birthday Chloe! dyork do keep us informed of her progress. My little girl is 17 months old and amazes me every day with the new things she learns. Here's a tip for when Chloe starts walking and touching things in earnest: Velcro anything valuable to the ceiling. Preferably a ceiling in another house.

Screen scraping is so '90s! All the cool kids are using XML-RPC.

There's one kind of politics which is on-topic for the hacker community and that is the openness of information. My threat was absurd but in response to another absurdity. My understanding is that the trust metric is related not to your personality (else I would be a superfunkygrandmaster instead of a journeyer) but your contributions to free software. For instance I don't much care for some of rms's ideas or the way they are expressed but it doesn't stop me from thinking he is a frickin' genius or using ls, grep, etc. By all means people should shun mglazer if his PHP code is crap but not because they don't like his views. And if one is going to ban politics, do it fairly. All the anti-war comments have to go too. (Though I like the life-related comments in general as it helps put a human face on the people who provide our software.)

On the contrary I would like to think I would defend the anti-glazer in the same way. Working in New York I'm constantly harangued by people whose politics are diametrically opposite to mine. Plus I'm regularly exposed to things that offend me as a Hindu such as advertising for Big Macs. But we have to tolerate them because...there is no other way to live together. Really how hard is it to just ignore the diaries of people one isn't interested in? I'm seeing some extreme reactions to an extremely small deal.

I'm flattered but please decertify me. You don't know me so that would be an abuse of the principles that govern this site.

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