Is a partial 'upgrade' on Debian possible??

Alex Satrapa grail at
Mon Feb 3 10:54:28 EST 2003

On Sunday, February 2, 2003, at 01:04 , Sam Couter wrote:

> That's certainly what I would suggest, but you do need to be aware that
> unstable sometimes is unstable, uninstallable, badly broken, etc.

My experiences so far with unstable have been less than rosy - I always 
seem to be able to pick the exact time that a broken version of a 
package is released, or the time that a package has been upgraded but 
its dependencies haven't.  I've usually ended up spending hours trying 
to figure out what the problem is, only to have the problem magically 
disappear as quickly as it appeared.  Very frustrating!

My workmates used to claim PEBKAC, until the same thing happened to them 
once or twice - my timing seems to be more reliable than theirs (in 
terms of picking when to upgrade to broken stuff) ;)

> That being said, I run unstable on all of my systems, and I very rarely
> have major problems. Others will report significantly different
> experiences.

Exactly.  With something like KDE or Gnome, for example, you have 
hundreds of packages that the system needs.  It only takes one of those 
dependencies to be broken (ie: bug-ridden package released), missing 
(eg: x depends on y > 1.6.1, but y is only 1.5.9) or split (eg: x has 
been split into x-libs, x-common, x-cli and x-X11, and x-common is 
broken or missing), and suddenly KDE or Gnome either break (which is 
good) or misbehave in frustrating ways (which is bad).

For something as major as KDE, I'd recommend upgrading the distribution 
to unstable, because you'll have fewer heartaches overall than trying to 
upgrade KDE and its dependencies by hand using source packages.
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