Another nice Debian innovation

Submitted by dag on Thu, 2008/09/18 - 12:35

Maybe this is not new for Debian people, but it is the first time I heard about the Debian External Health System.

From: Debian External Health System
To: dstat a-t packages dot qa dot debian dot org
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 10:47:12 +0000
Subject: dstat: New upstream version available

Hello,

The Debian External Health System (a.k.a. DEHS) has found a new upstream version
of the package dstat in the unstable distribution.
The current package version is 0.6.7-1 and latest by upstream is 0.6.8.

If you are the maintainer or a co-maintainer of the package
please consider updating the package.

The source code of version 0.6.8 by upstream can be found at:
http://dag.wieers.com/home-made/dstat/dstat-0.6.8.tar.bz2

For more information please refer to the DEHS report of dstat at:
http://dehs.alioth.debian.org/report.php?package=dstat

If you believe this message can be improved in any way don't hesitate to contact me
by replying to this message.
Note that the latest version by upstream is found thanks to the debian/watch file
provided by your package, in case this message is a false positive please review
the watch file before reporting.

Sincerely,
Raphael Geissert

Honestly, this is what I wanted for a long time to stay on top of all the software I package. I wrote a tool once that was looking for new releases, however guessing new version numbers tend to fail more then they work and was far from beautiful to do.

I think Freshmeat should hook into this system, and new releases should be actively monitored. Or if Debian would allow it, I could subscribe to all the packages I package in DEHS. That would be a good feature for DEHS, to let people subscribe to new upstream version much like I do now with Freshmeat. Who knows it might spark a discussion or renew interest from users.

The other nice Debian innovation is the DBTS (Debian Bug Tracking System). As a developer you are in direct contact with the Debian packager and bugs are being filtered and forwarded. To be honest, life would be easier if all distributions were using the same system. I had high hopes that Launchpad would be that system, but DBTS is far more advanced then what I have seen from Launchpad.

FreeBSD has had this for a while

We've had this for a while in FreeBSD. Originally, there was a cronjob that sent email from freefall, currently, we have the portscout service where we can add regexes for updates we don't want (like devel/unstable) version updates.

http://portscout.org/
http://portscout.org/restricted-ports.html