On Wed, 19 Nov 2008 21:43:19 -0500, cygwin at cwilson dot fastmail dot fm wrote:
> Eric Roode wrote:
> > I updated my cygwin the other day, as I periodically do, and I am very
> > sorry I did so.  Here are some of the problems I have encountered.
> It has always been the advice of this list that you should read the
> announcements on cygwin-announce@ and cygwin-xfree-announce before
> upgrading blindly.

    How amusingly recursive:  "It has always been the advice of the
mailing lists that you should check the mailing lists before
upgrading"  :-)

    I did not check the *-announce lists before running setup.  I did
not know of their existence.  To me, mailing lists are for developers,
groupies, and people with tech supp problems, not something to be
subscribed to and monitored by ordinary users on an ongoing basis -- I
have enough noise in my inbox as it is.

    I do check www.cygwin.com before doing (what I think is going to
be) a routine upgrade.  If there's nothing in the news there, I assume
that what I'm getting is just an upgrade of existing packages that I
already have installed.  Is that such a foolish assumption?

    The flaw in my cunning plan, it seems, is that www.cygwin.com is
*never* updated, except to note an occasional upgrade to the DLL
itself.  I guess I should also have been checking x.cygwin.com -- but
even that only has a short mention of an upgrade, with a pointer to
the announcement, which mostly talks about stuff that I do not know or
care about: something called XCB, some "composite extension", some
"XVideo extension", and so on.  Yes, I should have followed the
"upgrade instructions" section, and that would have helped, but would
not have prepared me for the unholy mess that was to follow.

>  Now, often you can get away with /not/ doing that, d
> nothing bad will happen.  But if I ran setup, and saw 157 new packages
> about to be upgraded...I might want to investigate a little before
> clicking "continue".

    Where do you see "157 new packages about to be upgraded"?  setup
says no such thing.

    I have been making the assumption, apparently a stupid one, that
when you run setup and don't choose to install anything new, it checks
for upgrades to the stuff you have already installed, and goes ahead
and patches what you have.  I don't look to see how much new stuff
there is -- why should I?  I just click "next" and go.  I did notice
that the download and upgrade took much longer than usual.  Know what
I thought? "Gee, there must be some major security fix to a whole lot
of packages."

> But, as always, it's up to you. We'll happily refund all the money you paid.

    I too contribute to the open-source community, and I have always
disliked this snarky answer.  "It's free -- what did you expect,
quality? Service?"  Well yes, I do.  You'll never get far in the
closed-source-commercial vs open-source-community argument if you keep
falling back on "it's free" as an excuse not to document, not to


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