We came across a strategic question this weekend that I wanted to post to the larger audience to think about. The issue is - what are we supposed to be doing (i.e. what is ideal) when a package is dropped from a repo across distribution revisions of Kubuntu? As I was trying to clean up the /etc/apt/sources.list to remove the older repositories placed there by ConfirmDependencies I made a couple of database changes, one of which broke the 1004 install process (specifically I added an entry to the packages table for php-image-graph for lucid so the intrepid repo wouldn't show up in the sources.list file, unfortunately between intrepid and lucid, this package was dropped from the main repository and is installable via PEAR). Granted this specific entry may not be necessary since the only facility (data logger) to leverage this functionality is now installed via the data logger post install plugin script it does bring about a larger question of maintenance as we move from revision to revision in Kubuntu.
As I see we have a few courses of action which have some consquences:
1. To leave the package defined in the database without the updated distribution (i.e. lucid) which will clutter up the sources.list
2. To update the packages table to include the lucid distro but point to a dummy package name - this basically means we'd be maintaining this package in the database forever which I can see becoming pretty unmanageable 5 or 6 revisions of Kubuntu down the line.
3. Update or enhance confirmdependencies that would drop a dependency if the dependency does not have an package defined in the databse equal to the running distro (i.e. lucid) entry in the packages table. I haven't deep dived on this option, so I'm not certain how hairy updating the logic would be, and I'm also not certain of the downstream impacts this would have (i.e. what functionality would we be losing by making this update)
4. Rolling up our own package and manage it going forward - depending on the package I'm thinking this could be more of a management nightmare as well.
What do you all think?