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Re: Fwd: Octave?

On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 15:09:47 -0500, Chuck R. Anderson <cra wpi edu> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 18, 2005 at 03:06:15PM -0500, seth vidal wrote:
> >
> > > Historically packages in extras have not been as well maintained...
> >
> > I'd love to see some proof of that. ANY proof of that, please.
> Not to mention that Extras hasn't existed long enough for there to
> really be a history...

Gah.  I should have careful with my words...   What I intended to
convey is that packages included in the core distribution tend to be
better maintained. This wasn't intended to be a specific slam against
extras, and I'm disappointed that this one point from my post is
drawing attention to the exclusion of the others.

The statement that in-core packages get more attention is pretty
basic.. As a part of the core installation they get installed with a
lot of other cruft along with an 'everything' installed and as a
result they get a fair amount of casual 'whats this' use beyond the
use that packages people must seek out and install by name get.  As a
part of the core distribution  build problems in such package can
become roadblocks to scheduled releases where being in extras is more
of a 'if it's there it's there', it changes the priority of a package.

I believe that one of the huge advantages of the free software
licensing model for the user is that there are greatly reduced
barriers to using the full professional grade tool rather than some
toy... By excluding such tools we increase the cost to the user from
just being the learning curve to locating and installing the tool,
this is a substantial change for those of us with plenty of disk space
but who are often mobile and away from a fast network connection.

Of course, there are reasons not to include every piece of software
out there... For example, it's nice to have a base distro that fits on
a single piece of media. It's also good to only include packages with
a distro if there is going to be some commitment to the quality of the
packages.  These are fine reasons, but if we are going to use them
lets carry them to their logical extents, ... make a base distro that
fills a single piece of media, and an extension that carries
everything meeting the quality requirements with little regard to the
additional size.     An other set of breaks ends up annoying people
with different usage patterns than you for no good reason  (why do I
have to goto extras to get octave, which I have much use for... while
OpenOffice is included when it's SO much larger and I have absolutely
no use for it?... you can't really say popularity because package
usage is likely a long tail distribution and there are lots of
packages that individually have little usage but collectively comprise
a majority of the used applications)

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