Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-buildservice (272 mails)

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[opensuse-buildservice] The disconnect
  • From: Robert Schweikert <rschweikert@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 02 Nov 2010 16:17:37 -0400
  • Message-id: <4CD071E1.8050203@xxxxxxxxxx>

Something has been troubling me for a while and I was a bit confused
about things. But now, I can finally put my finger on where from my
perspective things break down. This might turn out to be a bit of a
lengthy message; thus, please bear with me.

I followed a relatively recent and very lengthy discussion thread that
started out on a specific topic and eventually hit on the build service,
philosophical discussions about other distributions and our lack of
packages in contrib etc. (the thread was not on an openSUSE list :( ).
At some point, the discussion also hit the height of the entry barrier
for contributions. While in general I have to agree, the barrier for
openSUSE package contribution is pretty low, it just dawned on me today
where things are amiss, at least from my perspective.

Let me try and use an example to illustrate the problem I think exists.

A while back I packaged perl-critic and it's dependencies, starting out
in my home project to make sure all is well and then I submitted
everything to devel:languages:perl. From there I figured the packages
would eventually find their way into the distribution automagically, or
at the vary least into contrib. Well, that didn't happen.

Based on a mail on the packaging list I guess what I need to do to get
things into the distribution is to have another sr for the packages to
the openSUSE:Factory project. But, that I cannot do as I am not a
maintainer of devel:languages:perl. Now, I'd have to get added as a
maintainer in that project and then do an sr for perl-critic and
dependencies. Then rinse and repeat for any packages I might submit to
other top level projects.

Generally this is not really that bad, but it involves extra steps that
are not necessarily obvious, and IMHO there is a disconnect. In my mind,
when I submitted the packages to devel:languages:perl I was done. done
meaning, I made a contribution to openSUSE, and the packages will be
available to users that just configure "standard" repositories. What was
left to do was to check back every few month and see if the packages
needed a version bump. There was no indication that I needed to take a
second, third, and forth step to make the packages available outside the
devel project. This might be evident (or buried) in some wiki page, but
I do not recall reading it, and looking for this type of info recently
yielded nothing. Therefore, I claim that if it happened to me it will
happen to other people. The possible result being that they might walk
away and be lost as contributors.

While I can understand that we might not want to pull everything that
lurks in a devel project into the "standard" distribution I think we
should strongly consider putting all those packages automagically into
contrib. Here is how I think this might work.

When a release is being created, first beta time frame I'd say, scan all
the packages that are in devel projects or other projects that are not
home: and check if the package builds for the targeted distribution
(openSUSE 11.3 or Factory etc.). If the build succeeds and the package
is not part of the "standard" distribution, then put the package into
contrib automatically.

The advantage of this is that a contributor that stops at step 2, i.e.
gets the packages out of his/her home project and into a higher level
project such as devel:languages:XXX or virtualization will be able to
see/use the packages as part of the extended distribution (base repo +
contrb). In addition, users can access the packages without having to
add moving targets, i.e. devel projects, as update repositories to their
systems. Last but not least this automatic collection will bolster the
number of packages available through "standard" repositories and thus
will bolster openSUSE. Also something the marketing team will be able to
exploit ;) .

Contributors that want packages in the "base" repo will still need to
take the extra steps. A bit easier to find or more obvious documentation
might be helpful there.

The short summary/request is:

Collect all packages that successfully built for a given distribution
that reside in projects outside of home: and stick them into contrib:

One of the gory details would be to skip packages in projects like
"bleeding-edge" during the automatic collection. But I beleive there is
already a flag for things like that already, if I recall a discussion on
this list correctly.


Software Engineer Consultant LINUX

Making IT Work As One
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