Disclaimer: I'm not blaming nor pointing to anyone, but I feel like
that this is yet again the team pattern and I'd really like to see
whether we have any way out of this...

* Jérémy Lal [Tue Nov 15, 2016 at 11:27:02PM +0100]:

> > Is really no one from the Debian Javascript Maintainers working on
> > the npm packaging or interested in having an up2date version
> > available for stretch? Are there any known blockers?

> Besides "takes a lot of time", no.
> The amount of work needed to complete that task is simply discouraging :( 
> Help !

I looked into it and as Paolo mentioned in this bugreport (see
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=794890#44) many
new packages would have to be packaged to get a newer npm package
into Debian. But it seems to also require updating *existing*
packages. Looking at e.g. the current state of the node-request
dependency (~2.78.0):

% rmadison node-request
node-request | 2.26.1-1      | stable          | source, all
node-request | 2.26.1-1      | stable-kfreebsd | source, all
node-request | 2.26.1-1      | testing         | source, all
node-request | 2.26.1-1      | unstable        | source, all

... I'm afraid the situation of node-* packages in Debian is worse
than I expected. node-request's upstream release of version 2.26.1
dates back to August 2013 and nowadays upstream is at version 2.79.
There's #844072 against node-request (where someone is asking for a
newer version of node-request in Debian), but it was filed just this
month (November 2016) and between 2013 and 2016 there was not a
single package upload for node-request in Debian.

Asking around what other Debian contributors and users usually do when
they've to deal with npm + nodejs: either "npm install -g npm"(sic!)
and then use npm to install the actual node packages or directly
head towards upstream (like https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_4.x).

Now one reason why we have node-* packages in Debian is that they
are dependencies of further packages. To have some numbers: I see
601 packages named "node-*" in sid/amd64 as of today, and when
looking at their reverse dependencies I see only those 24 binary
packages with node-* packages in their depends/recommends/suggests:

* chai
* cleancss
* emscripten
* flightgear-phi
* fonts-font-awesome
* gis-osm
* groovebasin
* grunt
* jison
* lava-dev
* libjs-jquery-ui-docs
* libjs-util
* libjs-validator
* livescript
* mocha
* nikola
* npm
* npm2deb
* python-livereload
* python-webassets
* python3-livereload
* python3-webassets
* twitter-recess
* ycmd

Reducing it to dependencies only (no recommends or suggests) we
seem to have only those 18 packages left:

* chai
* cleancss
* emscripten
* flightgear-phi
* fonts-font-awesome
* groovebasin
* grunt
* jison
* lava-dev
* libjs-jquery-ui-docs
* libjs-util
* libjs-validator
* livescript
* mocha
* npm
* npm2deb
* twitter-recess

[JFTR: I didn't consider and look into build-depends for my numbers
and didn't verify my list with UDD or similar yet. If my numbers are
wrong please correct me.]

I might be wrong (please correct me), but my impression is that
people are uploading node-* packages mainly to satisfy a
(build-)dependency they have in a package and then don't really care
about those packages any longer. I also count 196 node-* packages
without *any* rdepends on them (http://paste.grml.org/2868/ is the
full list), aren't people working on those things interested in an
up2date npm package?

Back to the npm situation: I was reporting
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=794890#34 because
Debian's npm can't be really used reliably nowadays (the
"@module/names" not supported at all). Looking through the
bugreports of the npm package I'd call it unmaintained, there's even
an open CVE (https://security-tracker.debian.org/tracker/CVE-2016-3956).
The last upload was in 2014 and no one felt to call for help with
its packaging since then (especially now with stretch freeze on our
horizon), orphan the package etc. or am I missing something here?

Overall, I'm not sure we are providing our users something good with
the current situation. Though what realistic options do we have get
forward here? Any thoughts?

regards,
-mika-

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