Package not up to date.

Asked by Matt Hewitt

Any particular reason this package has not been updated to the 0.2.0 release from 2009?

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Ubuntu alac-decoder Edit question
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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

Ubuntu is not a rolling release distro. Packages are reviewed and updated if necessary. If there are significant security updates in a new version then the package will be added sooner. If you log a bug stating why the newer version should be added then it may be added sooner.

Ubuntu does not keep up with the latest versions, it is more concerned with stability as the target audience (new Linux users) would want to see Linux as a stable OS so expending energy just to keep up with package versions is not the norm. Instead they do testing to make sure a version will work well, once it is known to be good it is added.

You may add 3rd party PPAs where users have compiled the newer version but these are unofficial and notthing to do with Canonical. You may find someone has made the 0.2.0 (or later if it exists) using this link:

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Matt Hewitt (rudefyet) said :

I've searched the 3rd party PPAs and this package is not available else where. I also have no problem compiling the package myself.

The issue at hand here is there is an application that was updated almost 2 years ago, with bug fixes and new features like support for 24-bit input files that has gone completely ignored. The Ubuntu package maintainers have no problem shipping the latest lame libs, libvorbis, flac, etc without the need for the next Ubuntu release to roll around so explaining Ubuntu is not a rolling release doesn't seem relevant. Even if it was there is no excuse for not even testing a package from 2009 that does have some important improvements for it's (possibly limited) userbase. To me it just seems like somebody just forgot about the package.

To be honest if you areconcerned about stablitity, you might be better off using a new version of such an obscure, pre 1.0 package. Perhaps it shouldn't even be in the official repo if it's not going to be maintained.

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Matt Hewitt (rudefyet) said :

Bud filed.

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Matt Hewitt (rudefyet) said :

I may have mispoke when I said there has been no problem with other libs being updated as I realized the applications that depend on those libs often times need to be recompiled at the same time. With that being said, I am still fairly certain I have seen some of the available audio decoding/encoding libs being updated before the next major release.

I do wonder, is each individual package thoroughly tested with each release? Or is it more along the lines of "If it compiles, it's still good" on something as small as this. I ask this because the package has not been revised in 3 years and looks like it's just been automatically compiled for each release. Which if nobody is really paying attention and thoroughly testing it, and nobody is filling any bug reports, that could explain why an updated version slipped through the cracks.

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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

The change is not hugely different so I doubt it will get updated. You are free to log a bug if you want

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