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Yaroslav Halchenko 05-03-2011 04:23 PM

Integrating aptosid?
 
FWIW my 1 cent: the idea is really sound although a bit idealistic,
because it goes inline with my utopian future of Debian: many
derivatives are just customizations of Debian with varying level of
additional custom extensions (often DFSG-compliant thus candidates for
inclusion into Debian proper) + installer or live-media options; i.e.
they are using Debian package base and add some additional packages (or
manual installations/customizations just because it might be easier at
first)

So at the end, is there any objective show stopper to
hypothetically have in a Debian metapackages like

N.B. couldn't come up with a good prefix, so let it be 'flavor'

flavor-aptosid
flavor-mint
flavor-neurodebian
...

installation of which would simply tune existing plain Debian
installation to actually become the derivative itself?

if only we could persuade and collaborate with derivatives authors to
make this possible and easy. Then derivative projects could concentrate
on providing custom installers/live-media and everyone would be happy.

Or am I missing some substantial design issue which is still lacking
from http://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Guidelines


On Tue, 03 May 2011, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
> I know it's not simple, but it's not necessarily harder than making
> testing usable, I think Joss made a pretty good case about that on his
> blog.

> > Also, FYI, the aptosid development team is composed of 8 to 10 developers,
> > contributing to different things at different levels (info gathered on
> > #aptosid@OFTC).

> aptosid is just an example, I don't even know the distro, they may not
> be the best choice, I just try to find alternates ideas. Note that I
> don't think it takes more than 10 people to do the rolling distro like
> Joss propose it: snapshot unstable every month and fix the worst
> breakages. It takes more than 10 people to do the same in testing
> because each individual fix is tangled in the migration issue, hence
> rapidly needs to update things that are at first totally unrelated to be
> fixed too first.
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Alessandro Ghedini 05-03-2011 07:46 PM

Integrating aptosid?
 
On Tue, May 03, 2011 at 12:23:45PM -0400, Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:
> FWIW my 1 cent: the idea is really sound although a bit idealistic,
> because it goes inline with my utopian future of Debian: many
> derivatives are just customizations of Debian with varying level of
> additional custom extensions (often DFSG-compliant thus candidates for
> inclusion into Debian proper) + installer or live-media options; i.e.
> they are using Debian package base and add some additional packages (or
> manual installations/customizations just because it might be easier at
> first)
>
> So at the end, is there any objective show stopper to
> hypothetically have in a Debian metapackages like
>
> N.B. couldn't come up with a good prefix, so let it be 'flavor'
>
> flavor-aptosid
> flavor-mint
> flavor-neurodebian
> ...
>
> installation of which would simply tune existing plain Debian
> installation to actually become the derivative itself?
>
> if only we could persuade and collaborate with derivatives authors to
> make this possible and easy. Then derivative projects could concentrate
> on providing custom installers/live-media and everyone would be happy.
>
> Or am I missing some substantial design issue which is still lacking
> from http://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Guidelines

Sounds like the "Debian Pure Blends" [0] [1], with the difference that they
seem to use tasks instead of metapackages if I understood it correclty.

I don't know what's the state of the project though, maybe someone more
involved in it can comment further.

Cheers

[0] http://wiki.debian.org/DebianPureBlends
[1] http://blends.alioth.debian.org/blends/

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Yaroslav Halchenko 05-03-2011 09:32 PM

Integrating aptosid?
 
On Tue, 03 May 2011, Alessandro Ghedini wrote:
> > Or am I missing some substantial design issue which is still lacking
> > from http://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Guidelines
> Sounds like the "Debian Pure Blends" [0] [1], with the difference that they
> seem to use tasks instead of metapackages if I understood it correclty.

tasks are used to create the metapackages ;)

blends are indeed very very related indeed. Historically though they
became of wider scope and deeper coverage, than I think many of
the derivatives, which are often just customized package selection +
design + custom installer/live-media.

So, theoretically, blends mechanism could be extended to actually
provide such customized installer + appearance.... or may be Debian
installer itself could be used out of the box to provide a selection
among blends and their tasks and even within the tasks, because some
tasks cover too much of the software instances, not reasonable to have
pre-installed them all at once.

But altogether the point is that indeed, it would be nice we somehow we
could bring derivatives communities closer to Debian so they do not
loose their originality/projects but infuse their work into Debian
meanwhile.

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Andreas Tille 05-04-2011 11:16 AM

Integrating aptosid?
 
On Tue, May 03, 2011 at 05:32:41PM -0400, Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:
> On Tue, 03 May 2011, Alessandro Ghedini wrote:
> > > Or am I missing some substantial design issue which is still lacking
> > > from http://wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Guidelines
> > Sounds like the "Debian Pure Blends" [0] [1], with the difference that they
> > seem to use tasks instead of metapackages if I understood it correclty.
>
> tasks are used to create the metapackages ;)

Exactly (just uploaded metapackages for Debian Science generated from
tasks files :-)).

> blends are indeed very very related indeed. Historically though they
> became of wider scope and deeper coverage, than I think many of
> the derivatives, which are often just customized package selection +
> design + custom installer/live-media.

The reasons why Blends have a focus on a certain workfield is that there
was simply no intend to generate a Debian derivative (the idea was just
to sit inside Debian). However, I do not see a reason why the Blends
concept should not be enhanced to more general customisation. That's
just a question of the content where you let the techniques (as well as
the conceptual ideas) work on.

> So, theoretically, blends mechanism could be extended to actually
> provide such customized installer + appearance...

Yes.

> or may be Debian
> installer itself could be used out of the box to provide a selection
> among blends and their tasks and even within the tasks, because some
> tasks cover too much of the software instances, not reasonable to have
> pre-installed them all at once.

I'm for a long time in preference of this but that's a different topic.

> But altogether the point is that indeed, it would be nice we somehow we
> could bring derivatives communities closer to Debian so they do not
> loose their originality/projects but infuse their work into Debian
> meanwhile.

On Debian Med list we try to teach derivatives with the same focus as
Debian Med to use our Blends techniques (which also work for derivatives
as well).

Kind regards

Andreas.

PS: Yaroslav, it was nice to read that you share the same dream (expressed in
your previous mail) as me. :-)

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Stefano Zacchiroli 05-07-2011 05:00 PM

Integrating aptosid?
 
On Tue, May 03, 2011 at 03:05:34PM +0200, Pierre Habouzit wrote:
> I know it's not simple, but it's not necessarily harder than making
> testing usable, I think Joss made a pretty good case about that on his
> blog.

FWIW (#1), for the non-planet readers this is at
http://np237.livejournal.com/31868.html

> aptosid is just an example, I don't even know the distro, they may not
> be the best choice, I just try to find alternates ideas. Note that I
> don't think it takes more than 10 people to do the rolling distro like
> Joss propose it: snapshot unstable every month and fix the worst
> breakages. It takes more than 10 people to do the same in testing
> because each individual fix is tangled in the migration issue, hence
> rapidly needs to update things that are at first totally unrelated to be
> fixed too first.

FWIW (#2). Even though we seem to have consensus on going in a different
direction for a Debian rolling suite, I've mimicked what Lucas did and
reached out to a couple of aptosid people I've had a chance to meet at a
past FOSS event in Dublin a few months ago and asked them to comment on
this. You can find attached a mail from Niall Walsh, aptosid developer,
which I've asked to comment on the issues of: 1) who they believe their
target users are and 2) on the possibility of merging efforts with
Debian.

The mail is forwarded with permission from Niall, although it has been
written initially for a single recipient rather than for a list. Take it
with a grain of salt. Niall has also clarified that his views are only
his and not necessarily representative of all aptosid developers, but
I've found them interesting and useful for this debate nonetheless.

Thanks a lot to Niall and to all the other developers for aptosid!

Cheers.

--
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