Adrian Bunk writes ("Re: Updated  proposal for improving the FTP NEW process"):
> Debian version numbers are usually not globally unique.
> The binary packages of dgit 4.3 in Debian and Ubuntu are different 
> builds from the same sources, and for binary-any packages such
> different builds usually have different contents.[1]

This is not particularly interesting, and certainly not an
counter-argument against Russ and my position that reusing version
numbers for different source packages is bad practice.

> And more common is actually the reverse problem of someone publishing
> a different 5.0 after a 5.0 is already in our archive (usually by
> making modifications without changing the version number).

Our tooling makes this too easy to do; and it makes it too hard to do
the right thing.  Observe here the horrible dch stuff that a user
has to type to avoid this confusion:

But I'm glad that you recognise that, in this case at least, reuse of
the version number is undesirable.

> > Version numbers are composed of integers.  Getting another integer is
> > free, and there is not a limited supply.  We won't run out, and missing
> > sequence numbers cause no problems in the world.
> Giving every person on the internet the power to steal version numbers
> for random packages would be dangerous.
> Apart from obvious (scripted) DoS for taking all reasonable numbers for 
> a package, it would also e.g. encourage derivates to steal Debian 
> version numbers instead of using a proper namespace.[2]

Now you seem to be saying

 1 having the same version version number referring to
   multiple different source versions is completely fine
 2 reusing version version numbers should not be forbidden
 3 forbidding reuse of version numbers by Debian might encourage
   preemptive reuse of *spaces* of version numbers by derivatives
 4 reuse of version number spaces by different origins is bad practice

You have almost (but not quite) contradicted your conclusion!
If we ask why the final thing in my list above, which you are treating
as an axiom, is true, we could continue your pseudosyllogism with

 5 reuse of version number spaces by different origins will
   probably lead to reuse of version numbers for different source
 6 having the same version version number referring to
   multiple different source versions is best avoided

I think 1 is false, and does not follow from 2.  I agree with 2, but I
think reusing version numbers is usually bad and should only be done

> Versions of packages that are accepted into our archive must be unique, 
> but random people from the internet should not have the power to 
> restrict what a maintainer can do in Debian.

I think that random idiots on the internet should (in principle) have
the power to require a maintainer to explicitly override their idiocy.
In practice I doubt anyone is going to implement that check soon.


Ian Jackson <>   These opinions are my own.

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