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Rahul Sundaram 02-09-2008 04:53 PM

Packaging collaboration between distributions
 
Hi,

A while back I noticed http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Policies/Licensing
relying on Fedora licensing guidelines. This makes perfect sense since
we have comprehensive guidelines and listing of licenses but this isn't
a very active form of collaboration. Packaging between between
distributions differ unnecessarily on technical minutia that isn't a
selling point of any sort and just wastes time. Taking just RPM based
distributions, we have Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE etc building a
packaging community on its own, they have differences in atleast the
following things:


* Package names and granularity
* Location of files
* Unique Configuration files
* Vendor macros

Trying to reuse spec files from other distributions tends to be a pain
because of this in many cases. Since the new rpm.org has now
successfully done a few releases consolidating patches from different
distributions, would it be possible to collaborate more on and
consolidate macros etc so that it makes it easy for distributions to
alteast share and reuse spec files as much as possible. Note that binary
compatibility is specifically not a goal here.


Obviously there are going to be differences in between distributions but
there should be a lot of common guidelines we can place in somewhere
like http://rpm.org/wiki/Packaging/Guidelines and just point out the
differences where applicable. We could setup a neutral
distribution-collaboration list and invite distributions to see what can
be done.Does that sound feasible? I would be very interested in helping
out.


Rahul

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Matt Domsch 02-10-2008 02:45 AM

Packaging collaboration between distributions
 
On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 11:23:09PM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> Hi,
>
> A while back I noticed http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Policies/Licensing
> relying on Fedora licensing guidelines. This makes perfect sense since
> we have comprehensive guidelines and listing of licenses but this isn't
> a very active form of collaboration. Packaging between between
> distributions differ unnecessarily on technical minutia that isn't a
> selling point of any sort and just wastes time. Taking just RPM based
> distributions, we have Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE etc building a
> packaging community on its own, they have differences in atleast the
> following things:
>
> * Package names and granularity
> * Location of files
> * Unique Configuration files
> * Vendor macros

For my part, I've helped make packages like hwdata become more
friendly and accessible to other distributions, by encouraging it to
become its own upstream project on fedorahosted.org, which lets others
commit to it too. Ubuntu has now started using this new upstream, and
I've been discussing with several maintainers from Gentoo, SuSE,
Fedora, and other upstream projects about how to make hwdata even more
useful across them all to reduce duplication of effort. I thank
GregKH for seeing my blog post about this, and another by Diego
"Flameeyes" Petten which I hadn't seen, and putting two and two
together.

A second cross-distro project I'm involved with is the Linux
Foundation Driver Backport Working Group. It's goal is to deal with
backporting device drivers from latest kernel.org onto (historical)
distribution kernels, ala kmod/DKMS, cross-distro. We've got people
from Dell, IBM, HP, Fujitsu-Siemens, Novell, Red Hat / Fedora, Ubuntu,
and the OpenPrinting project (to expand the scope somewhat) actively
involved. You can join too. http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Driver_Backport

I think there's room for lots of collaboration along this line, in
addition to simplifying the disparate RPM spec file rules for each.

-Matt

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