[maemo-community] [Council] First community issue

From: Ryan Abel rabelg5 at gmail.com
Date: Mon Sep 15 18:01:28 EEST 2008
Well, the Maemo Summit seems like a good time for the council to pick  
up its first community issue (actually, for this particularly issue,  
it's more important than most).

I'd like to see what we can do to address the new tableteer update  
repository procedure. As most of you likely know, the new SSU system  
pushes new system packages from the tableteer update repository (the  
passworded one). This was going to be a rather significant coup for  
the community, as it meant system packages could be reinstalled from  
apt rather than having to reflash entirely or grab them from another  
tablet (say, while testing a compile of the latest MicroB SVN, you'd  
have something to fall back to easily if things went wrong).

Unfortunately, and as usual, Nokia decided to nullify most of the  
beneficial side-effects by making things more complicated than they  
needed to be. For whatever reason, they've decided to give each update  
its own update repository (diablo/, diablo-1/, etc.).

So, here are the proposed solution in order of desirability:

1. All updates are kept in a single repository for that release  
(diablo/ for Diablo, fremantle/ for Fremantle, etc) and all of the  
latest system packages are available there. This means all system  
packages are recoverable through apt, o-s-v is always available and  
the world is generally a happier place.

The downside, of course, is the question of updates. Will you be able  
to jump from a 23-14 to a 41-5 without going through each individual  
update in between without issue (my bet is yes)? I don't know enough  
about Linux packaging to guarantee that that would be safe nor, will  
Nokia be likely to want to do the testing to ensure that it is. So  
this may not be an acceptable option, though it did seem to work OK  
during the Diablo beta period.

2. Each update has its own repository (diablo/, diablo-1/, diablo-2/,  
etc), but all of the latest packages for that update are available  
there, so they can be easily reinstalled if need be. This is a good  
compromise choice, as it doesn't offer too many update-system  
stabilities issues for Nokia to worry over and doesn't leave users  
high-and dry for packages.

3. This isn't much of a compromise, but at the barest minimum, osso- 
software-version-rx*4 needs to be available from each update  
repository as soon as its live, as it's very easy to remove it doing a  
variety of harmless things, but very difficult to re-install it if  
it's not available (as the nokia-repositories package will nuke your  
old update repo in the process of the upgrade), and an attempted apt- 
get upgrade _without_ osso-software-version-rx*4 installed can lead to  
reboot loops.

Admittedly, we do know that 30-2 was somewhat rushed out the door for  
the battery-life fixes, and didn't make it through the whole release  
process[1], so perhaps Nokia _is_ planning on putting all of the  
latest packages in each update repository in the future, we don't  
really know, though.

So, council members, if this sounds like a reasonable issue to you,  
think you can hunt down the Maemo release team while your there and  
see what sort of a compromise can be reached. :)

[1] The interesting thing here is what this says about Nokia's ability  
(or inability) to handle frequent small-scale point releases. . . .

Ryan Abel
Maemo Community Council chair

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