[maemo-developers] Repositories mess: conclusions and actions

From: Tim Teulings rael at edge.ping.de
Date: Thu Nov 8 10:09:09 EET 2007

> different.  And the main problem with 'extras' is that there're not so
> many applications in it.

> I believe it's because of a simple challenge for developers: 'extras' is
> expected to have good quality software ("good" is still to be defined
> :)).  I saw quite a few comments (here, ITT, elsewhere) like "well, I'm
> not 100% sure that my software is good enough to be put in 'extras', so
> I'd rather make my own repo".  And as soon as the developer makes her
> first repo for offering some alpha/beta software, it's gonna be
> comparatively easy for her to _also_ create a repository next to the
> first one where the stable/good stuff is made available.  As result
> 'extras' is underused.

Correct. The initial aim defined by Quim Gil was:
I would like to have for packages in extras instead in far away 
repositories. I want it to get easier into extras but I do not want to 
sacrifice quality (and quality is the point that makes it difficult).

I own such repository. I'm unsure if my applications are "good enough". 
Making the repository however is not the effort for m (making the 
repository was easier). My problem is maintaining builds for three OS 
versions (Would it be wise to drop OS 2007 after the release of OS 2008. 
Can I assume that everybody will flash its device?). It seems like not 
all people are for example running OS 2007 HE on their Nokia 770). My 
problem is maintaining the downloads.maemo.org packages. My problem is 
missing testers.

> The point of this plan is to explicitely make available a central place
> where there's no such a vague restriction as "it must be good", so
> developers instead of learning various tools (dpkg-scanpackages,
> apt-ftparchive, reprepro, etc) would just learn one -- dput.
> 'extras' repository is coming pre-configured in Chinook and, since it's
> disabled by default, the "normal" user would need to do something to
> enable it.  'extras-devel' is _not_ pre-configured, so only brave souls
> would add it to their catalogue list.

Ed argumentation (I need a repository for testing and staging together 
with other people/projects) is valid and I acknowledge it. However his 
motivation is different. As such I doubt that the first 2 steps will get 
you more applications into extras, you just make it easier for people 
that already have extras applications and want to increase their pace. 
This is a valid reason.

> I think _some_ of the problems will be solved (see above).  Advantages?
> I do not know.  So far alsmost nobody really followed up with 'yes,
> that'd be great, [let's] do it!' message :)

I think that is the main problem. The discussion is long (and so are its 
single mails), but the number of participants is rather low (in relation 
for example to the number of accounts in garage). I getting a increasing 
bad feeling because I post my assumptions and suggestions, somebody else 
posts his assumptions an suggestions (and they are all valid and 
helpful) but in fact we are all searching in the dark. Community 
feedback is low and no technical help visible.

I must assume they we by far are not talking about the real problems,we 
have lost the audience because of the long discussion,  or that there 
are no real problems (form the view of the community) :-/ Scanning some 
#mameo logs I have seen that some people find a staging approach too 
complex. Me too, but how do we solve the quality problem instead? 
Perhaps it is time to make a poll :-)

> Who is the group?  I'd say at the beginning we should forget about
> groups :) and just make it working on 'I own this package, I move it'
> basis.

That would be OK for me :-) I think I'm able to judge which of my 
applications are good enough and which are not. But this way we cannot 
assure the quality aims that were defined by Nokia.

> Well, my original proposal was to make it better only after we reach a
> substantial checkpoint :)

As said before: If the discussion does not proceed with better 
aproaches, just do Steps 1 and 2 instead of doing nothing.


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