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Re: Starting the derivative conversation

El Thu, Jul 21, 2005 at 11:03:58PM +0200, Andreas Tille va escriure:
> On Thu, 21 Jul 2005, Jeff Licquia wrote:
> >First off, apologies to the list for wandering from its charter.  If you
> >object to discussion of external derivations in this list, please speak
> >up; such objection is likely to boost the priority of finding an
> >alternative venue.
> Well, for the other list members: We agreed in Helsinki that discussion
> of common questions between Custom Debian Distributions and Debian
> derivatives might be fine here if they are obviousely targeting at
> a better cooperation.  So posting here is fine.

  I believe that, from the technical side, Custom and Derivative distributions
  have almost the same problems and can use the same technologies on all
  situations, so I don't feel that another list is needed.

  As I see it, the main difference between Custom and Derived distributions
  resides on the customization models used.
  I already talked about that on my blog after a Canonical Conference:


  And also on this list:

  Anyway, almost all distributions that want to be CDD end up having a
  separate archive of some kind and I'm sure that Derivatives would love to
  avoid patching and recompilation as much as possible, so we are on the same
  boat on almost all the technical issues.

> >There may be other important ideas that I may be neglecting in this
> >summary; corrections would be appreciated.

  Summary of your summary:

  - Custom and Derived Debian Distributions need a communication channel
    betwen them and with the Debian project.

    I agree, we can use this list as the meeting point, but I guess that
    announcing it on other lists is also appropiate, and meeting in real life
    when possible also helps a lot... I hope that more CDDD meetings will take
    place before the next Debconf in Mexico... and that this time I will be
    able to attend... ;)

  - Derived Debian Distributions need a common way to give back to Debian:
    they need tools to announce newer developments and to forward bugs and
    patches between them and Debian (in both directions).

    Note that this problem is also present in almost all custom distributions,
    at least the bugtracking thing, as it is usually a good idea to use a 
    use a simplified bug or issue tracking system instead of the BTS
    (sometimes the users don't speak english, some times the CDD questions are
    not bugs or don't provide enough information, etc.).

    A good system to link bugs back and forth is good for all of us; I know
    that the Canonical's Malone project will provide a system to aggregate
    bugs, but the system is not free and probably having an independent way to
    link different bugtracking systems is a great idea also for CDD.

> My memory also stored some common development on the CDD toolkit
> which might be also very valuable for derivers.

  I'm working a lot on it lately and I'll probably move the svn repository to
  the CDD alioth project and upload a package to debian experimental during
  this Summer.

  The tool will provide a way to do customizations without recompiling things,
  but as I've been developing it I'm more and more convinced that we will be
  able to propose some changes on the debian tools to be able to customize
  packages more easily in the future.
  Some proposals:
  - adding support to dpkg to handle conffile diversions,

  - support for partial updates of binary packages, that is, support for
    adding, removing and replacing data of packages at install time using the
    non customized versions as the base.

  - adding support for calling external scripts before and after the execution
    of programs like dpkg or dpkg-reconfigure; that way there is no need to
    add hooks to higher level tools like *apt* and lower level tools don't
    break the customizations.

  - ...


Sergio Talens-Oliag <sto@debian.org>   <http://people.debian.org/~sto/>
Key fingerprint = 29DF 544F  1BD9 548C  8F15 86EF  6770 052B  B8C1 FA69

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