[maemo-developers] Updating the info for Extras-devel non-free

From: Quim Gil quim.gil at nokia.com
Date: Fri Nov 27 12:15:57 EET 2009

ext Jeremiah Foster wrote:
> I am hesitant here, some of the testing process may require source
> packages, either now or in the future. I am not certain that non-free
> packages deserve to get all the free quality assurance that the
> community provides. I think they should be grateful that they are
> included at all and if they want to go through testing, they need to
> at least provide a source package.

I think this had been discussed before. At least I remember a reply from
Henrik (Mauku developer) explaining in quite plain English why even if
source code availability is the ultimate resource for good testing, in
practice most apps go through the QA without anybody checking that
source, and even many tools analyzing power consumption and performance
will check the binaries and not the source packages.

So the questions is in fact non-technical:

- Do you want non-free apps showing up in
http://maemo.org/packages/repository/qa/fremantle_extras-testing/ ?

- Do you want non-free apps showing up in
http://maemo.org/downloads/Maemo5/ ?

Note that they are different questions. One possibility is that non-free
or commercial publishers find interesting the maemo.org QA process per
se, aiming to release the final versions in Ovi or their own channels,
where no such betatesting infrastructure and culture exists.

Testers with a strong opinion about open source might not be interested
at all on this, but other users might be indeed interested in becoming
betatesters of a non-free app in exchange of checking the lastest
versions some days/weeks before regular users get them in Ovi or elsewhere.

Some comments in this thread ask why "the community" should put extra
work testing non-free apps. In fact "the community" doesn't exist as
such. If you don't want to test non-free apps then don't test them,. If
everybody thinks like you nobody will test these apps and it will be
irrelevant that they are in extras-devel or extras-testing.

But perhaps their presence is actually interesting to some. Perhaps the
fact that they are available for testing as beta versions bring actually
more testers to the QA process. And perhaps some of these guys start
helping testing other apps, free or non-free.

My personal opinion is that maemo.org has been always strong in open
source but not exclusive, just like Maemo itself. In practice many users
and developers got their first contact with free software thanks to this
hybrid approach, and now some of them are in the first row of OSS

Quim Gil
open source advocate
Maemo Devices @ Nokia
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