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-   -   Moving from console-tools to kbd (http://www.linux-archive.org/debian-development/69548-moving-console-tools-kbd.html)

Michael Biebl 04-14-2008 03:34 PM

Moving from console-tools to kbd
 
Hi fellow DDs,

I had two separate discussions today with Alistair and Michael, about
the state of console-tools and kbd in Debian.
I decided to take this discussion to debian-devel to get more feedback
on this matter.

Following are the relevant parts of the discussion:

Michael Schutte wrote:

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 03:50:58PM +0200, Michael Biebl wrote:

Btw, I asked the maintainer of console-tools, Alastair McKinstry, about the
state of console-tools in Debian (lots of bug reports with patches, no
upload since a long time) and I'll be quoting the relevant parts here:


Alastair McKinstry wrote:
Yes, I've been very busy, and a co-maintainer would be a good idea. The
code is already in alioth.
More importantly, console-tools has no upstream developer, for several
years now. kbd, which it intended to replace,
is in active development. Hence console-tools should be removed from
Debian, but a plan for replacement needs
to be tested (compare kbd to console-tools; look for patches to
console-tools that should be ported back to kbd, either
features or bugfixes; test upgrade scripts in Debian). kbd is a 'mostly'
drop-in replacement, but has some binaries

not present in kbd at the moment.


So it looks like, if Alaistair preferred, if console-tools was deprecated
in favor of kbd (after working out a migration plan).


Yes, I know about the status of console-tools. A quote from #446030,
where Anton Zinoviev wrote:


The transition from console-tools to kbd has been planned for years
and the only reason of the delay is the chronic shortage of console
maintainers in Debian. It seems Alastair supports only console-tools
and for the rest it is only me and Christian Perrier and we both are
doing this only because nobody else does.


I have been added to the pkg-kbd team since then.

Do you think this could be done for lenny? Do you think it should be done
at all? If so, would you be interested to look into that?


I think it has to be done sooner or later, if only because of lacking
upstream development in console-tools. I don’t know if it is possible
to do this transition for Lenny, but having a brief look at it, it
should not be so hard:

fonty is the only package with a build-rdep on console-tools which
doesn’t allow kbd as an alternative choice. It currently has an ITO and
would probably need an NMU to fix this. And there are only three
packages with binary rdeps (or r-recommends) on console-tools only; they
are cmatrix, dynafont and freevo.

I’ll have a look at how much stuff there is in console-tools that we do
not have in kbd. After fixing the four packages I listed above and
integrating possible patches, it should be safe to drop console-tools.

Comments are welcome.


console-tools is currently preferred over kbd and installed by default
(on 97.41% of all machines according to popcon).


Given the comments of Michael and Alistair, it seems clear to me that we
should move away from console-tools (back) to kbd. Also, Michael seems
to be willing to look into this matter.


The question now is, if we should try to get this issue fixed for lenny
or defer it to lenny+1. What other issues would need attention, d-i,..?


Comments welcome.

Cheers,
Michael

--
Why is it that all of the instruments seeking intelligent life in the
universe are pointed away from Earth?

Christian Perrier 04-14-2008 03:51 PM

Moving from console-tools to kbd
 
(keeping CC, just in case)


> console-tools is currently preferred over kbd and installed by default
> (on 97.41% of all machines according to popcon).
>
> Given the comments of Michael and Alistair, it seems clear to me that we
> should move away from console-tools (back) to kbd. Also, Michael seems
> to be willing to look into this matter.
>
> The question now is, if we should try to get this issue fixed for lenny
> or defer it to lenny+1. What other issues would need attention, d-i,..?


At first glance, the move is probably what should be done....but I
think it's now too late for lenny.

Michael Schutte 04-14-2008 06:23 PM

Moving from console-tools to kbd
 
On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 05:51:36PM +0200, Christian Perrier wrote:
> (keeping CC, just in case)

You can drop me at least.

> > console-tools is currently preferred over kbd and installed by default
> > (on 97.41% of all machines according to popcon).
> >
> > Given the comments of Michael and Alistair, it seems clear to me that we
> > should move away from console-tools (back) to kbd. Also, Michael seems
> > to be willing to look into this matter.
> >
> > The question now is, if we should try to get this issue fixed for lenny
> > or defer it to lenny+1. What other issues would need attention, d-i,..?
>
> At first glance, the move is probably what should be done....but I
> think it's now too late for lenny.

Do you think that there is a specific step that will take a long time?
Fixing the three packages is no problem. fonty and dynafont build from
the same source and do well without console-tools, same with cmatrix;
freevo actually needs a modification, but that’s just three characters.
I’ll submit the relevant patches soon.

If it is just a general feeling that the transition will break some
things in unexpected ways, I think it is a good idea if some of the
readers of this list could try switching from console-tools to kbd. I
suppose that most users won’t see a difference, but more bugs could be
reported that way.

As d-i has been brought up: Moving from console-tools to kbd does not
affect the installer; console-tools needs libconsole, which is too large
for d-i, so it already uses kbd-udeb.

I don’t have a problem with waiting for Lenny first. But reading
#387129, for example, the transition probably should already have
happened. So why not now :-)

Cheers,
--
Michael Schutte <m.schutte.jr@gmail.com>

Colin Watson 04-15-2008 02:21 AM

Moving from console-tools to kbd
 
On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 06:23:56PM +0000, Michael Schutte wrote:
> As d-i has been brought up: Moving from console-tools to kbd does not
> affect the installer;

localechooser would need to be changed to install kbd rather than
console-tools.

> console-tools needs libconsole, which is too large for d-i, so it
> already uses kbd-udeb.

Are you thinking of console-setup here? Note that d-i still uses
kbd-chooser, which has its own cloned-and-hacked implementation of bits
of the keyboard utilities.

(The most substantial thing we need to do to get console-setup ready is
to sort out i18n, I think. I've been hoping to have time to work on
this.)

--
Colin Watson [cjwatson@debian.org]


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Christian Perrier 04-15-2008 06:26 AM

Moving from console-tools to kbd
 
Quoting Colin Watson (cjwatson@debian.org):
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 06:23:56PM +0000, Michael Schutte wrote:
> > As d-i has been brought up: Moving from console-tools to kbd does not
> > affect the installer;
>
> localechooser would need to be changed to install kbd rather than
> console-tools.
>
> > console-tools needs libconsole, which is too large for d-i, so it
> > already uses kbd-udeb.
>
> Are you thinking of console-setup here? Note that d-i still uses
> kbd-chooser, which has its own cloned-and-hacked implementation of bits
> of the keyboard utilities.


I should add to this that the most expected benefit of any change in
that matter should be to get rid of *two* parallel keymap collections:
the one in console-data (that's used, partly, in the installer, then
later by either kbd or console-* stuff) and the one in X (that's later
used by any user but Joey Schulze..:-))

As console-data maintainer (along with Alastair in theory, but all
recent breakages are mine), I would love to see it become
useless. This is why I did put a lot of hope in the ideas about
dropping it and use console-setup in D-I (and thus later on the
system)....which unfortunately just remained ideas.

As Colin points out, i18n of the keymap choice is currently the major
blocker to get c-s used in D-I. Last time I looked at it, it required
time and skills...two things I don't really have. Colin has one of
those, at least..:-)

Michael Schutte 04-15-2008 03:35 PM

Moving from console-tools to kbd
 
On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 08:26:39AM +0200, Christian Perrier wrote:
> Quoting Colin Watson (cjwatson@debian.org):
> > localechooser would need to be changed to install kbd rather than
> > console-tools.

Ah, I missed that—sorry for spreading misinformation. Do you think
there is any chance this could be changed for Lenny? As it touches the
installer, it’s probably not a good idea to go ahead right now.

> I should add to this that the most expected benefit of any change in
> that matter should be to get rid of *two* parallel keymap collections:
> the one in console-data (that's used, partly, in the installer, then
> later by either kbd or console-* stuff) and the one in X (that's later
> used by any user but Joey Schulze..:-))

I wholeheartedly agree. ckbfont, for example, is an absolutely great
thing, and we should definitely aim at making console-setup more widely
used.

Best regards,
--
Michael Schutte <m.schutte.jr@gmail.com>


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