[maemo-community] Extras and Fremantle

From: Jeremiah Foster jeremiah at jeremiahfoster.com
Date: Wed Mar 4 00:31:32 EET 2009
On Mar 3, 2009, at 10:47 PM, Eduardo Lima (Etrunko) wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:
>> In Debian packages are moved automatically from the unstable  
>> distrubtion
>> to testing and stable, meaning that the maintainers of the packages  
>> have
>> to do nothing unless they get bugs to be fixed.
>> We could even consider mirroring the Debian scheme:
> [snip]
>> This would mean that a developer should upload his packages to
>> extras-devel and, if they are good, he should do nothing else to have
>> them in testing and stable at some point.
> Thank you for this proposal Quim.

I agree - this is a workable and worthwhile goal.

> It's proven to work with Debian, why
> wouldn't it work for us??

It can work for maemo, but debian is much larger and has grown over  
the years, so it can take time to work out the kinks.

> What is left for us is a clear definition of
> the QA policy,

This is important, and involves a lot of community input. It should  
most likely have a dedicated mailing list.

> the automated tests

There are some issues - who currently is responsible for the automated  
tools, automated tests and build daemons? To what degree do they  
implement policy? Who maintains them, Nokia or maemo.org?

> and then adapt the current
> repository structure to this new one.

Unfortunately this is not trivial. The simple reason is that debian  
uses tools that are built for debian and seem to work poorly other  
places. Debian uses dak (debian archive kit) to manage repos. Ubuntu  
uses something else. dak is big, poorly documented, and is not  
currently being used in maemo, this means the current repo system  
would have to be adapted to dak. Think new repos, new documentation,  
new policy, etc.

Adapting debian tools to manage the maemo repositories might be a  
really good idea, but there are some significant technical hurdles.

> Anyone willing to fight the
> beast?

I thought I signed up for this when I became debmaster! :)

The good news is that there is interest in this and that people want  
to participate. Niels has done some work in this regard and has looked  
at dak. Having a policy, a solid repo system, and automated tools  
should really make the maemo repos significantly better than other  
repos and make the life of a developer a lot easier.

So far, I have forked debian's policy checker, lintian, into something  
called maemian. This will inherit all of the debian policy checks, but  
exlcude those that do not apply to maemo, plus we can add some that do  
apply to maemo. It is written in perl so anyone interested in writing/ 
learning perl is welcome to participate.

I think the best thing to do is to hash out policy, codify it in a  
document. Adapt the policy checking tool to the agreed upon policies,  
deploy them over the most experimental repos first. In parallel we  
might deploy dak and a more debian-like repo structure along the lines  
that Quim described.

Now if there were only 30 hours in the day . . .



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