[maemo-developers] maemo-optify, autobuilder & /opt

From: Andrew Flegg andrew at bleb.org
Date: Thu Oct 29 09:54:03 EET 2009
Ed wrote:
> 2009/10/29 Graham Cobb <g+770 at cobb.uk.net>:
> >
> > Nobody likes doing something to the package automatically but, after a long
> > discussion at the BOF, we agreed that the alternatives were even worse [1].
> >
> Then let's find the way to do it better.
> What I'm afraid of is that developers wouldn't like the approach to
> change packages implicitly.

There were some very "senior" and well respected developers in the room, who package some of the leading Maemo applications.

> It potentially can create repository mess
> again. And I really don't want this to happen.

No-one does, however increasing the amount of work developers have to do to get into Extras because of Nokia's short-sightedness is also a demotivating factor which could lead to multiple repositories springing up.

> > In particular, there was a strong argument that the package should not have to
> > include anything (even a control field option) to cause optification to
> > happen.  Packages which wanted to do their own optification or which had to
> > disable optification would have to include an option to stop optification.

And this is because /opt is basically a weirdness caused specific to Maemo packaging, and (with the move to Qt) the Maemo development community is increasingly realising the benefits of abstracting platform weirdness.

> Would it be better to change the common part of developer environment
> and autobuilder, for example somewhere in debian devkit? If
> dpkg-buildpackage will produce optified packages they will be at least
> the same everywhere.

Have you an estimate on the comparative costs of developing one vs. the other? This is an implementation detail of "make the autobuider" do it. Who owns the Debian devkit and do they want to do the work?

A "maemo-buildpackage" was mentioned in the BOF as a potential way of allowing developers to do what the auto-builder does. How hard would it be to develop this and get the autobuilder to call maemo- rather than dpkg-buildpackage?

However, there seem to be two arguments on your side:

  1) Don't do anything, developers should modfy
     debian/rules as they do now.
  2) Make something in the build process do it,
     rather than the autobuilder.

(2) is an internal implementation detail which isn't important externally: the consensus view could be tested by uploading a Diablo source package with no changes and having it auto-optified. Whether that's through a change to the devkit, autobuilder-specific code or the introduction of maemo-buildpackage is of little interest to the person doing the uploading :-)

> > So, the consensus decision was that the solution would be that autobuilder
> > should automatically optify by default.
> I didn't even think it will go this way. This why I didn't participate
> on discussions and BOF, sorry. Does it mean that I should shut up and
> do what I'm told to do?

There were a large number of stakeholders in the room, representing a variety of different views. It is unfortunate that you weren't there, meaning that the discussions have to be had again. It's disappointing that these comments weren't raised from the minutes of the BOF posted 3 weeks ago, but it's also disappointing that no-one's taken charge of driving this through and had spoken to you about enacting these changes.



Andrew Flegg -- mailto:andrew at bleb.org  |  http://www.bleb.org/
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