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Section changes in the archive

Hello world, As Lenny is finally released, and we are early in the cycle for squeeze, now is the best time to do some long-needed changes to our archive. Much of what we are currently doing is not visible to you as a user of the archive, but this change is.

As discussed earlier this year on -devel, some section changes have
just been made to the archive. With the rapid growth of the
archive, many of them had grown too big to be useful.

While we acknowledge that something like debtags will make a better
long-term solution, we do not think that it is ready yet to completly
replace sections (e.g. because it isn’t assured that all packages have
tags). This is why we chose to go ahead and adjust what we have,
instead of hoping that debtags can mature enough in time for squeeze.

First we finally removed the already deprecated section base.
Earlier in Debian’s lifetime our installer used the base section to
mark packages important for the base system. This is no longer needed,
debian-installer has much better ways to do the same thing, hence it
can go away.

Second we added a number of new sections and moved packages over to
them. The list of packages moved is available at

The columns meaning are:
packagename priority section oldsection and reason why we moved it

NO upload is required to move a package to a new section.
It is enough if you change your debian/control file in the next regular

It may be that some of the patterns have had a few matches that they
shouldn’t have done or may have missed some packages which should have been
moved. If this is the case, just mail and list
the packages you request a change for, together with the section you believe
they should be in.

The new sections are:
ruby Everything about ruby, an interpreted object oriented
java Everything about Java
video Video viewers, editors, recording, streaming
fonts Font packages
gnustep The Gnustep environment
xfce The XFCE Desktop, fast and lightweight Desktop
httpd Webservers and their modules
localization Language packs
debug Debug packages
lisp Everything about Lisp
vcs Version control systems
haskell Everything about haskell
zope Zope/Plone Framework
database Databases
kernel Kernel and Kernel modules
ocaml Everything about OCaml: an ML language implementation
cli-mono Everything about Mono and the Common Language Infrastructure
gnu-r Everything about GNU R, a statistical computation and
graphics system
php Everything about PHP

Note that we used some kind of “section priority” to get to the final
list. Of course this is not perfect, there are many packages that
fit multiple sections, but it helped us. Apply in order, stop when you
found a match and always keep common-sense in mind.

1. debug > *
2. doc > *
3. localization > *
4. language-specific > interpreters
5. application-specific > generic
6. generic

Where generic would be something like web, otherosfs, admin,
application-specific like vcs, httpd, xfce.

This will be on the mirrors with the next dinstall run this evening.

— bye, Joerg [GFDL] Well, Debian is not for newbies so the documentation problem is not really huge

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