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Status of the CDD Toolkit

Hi Debian Custom people,

First, for the ones that don't read planet.debian.org, let me announce here
that I've left the LliureX Project, so I'm no longer going to be paid to work
on CDD related things in the near future (unless I can find a related project
on my new work place, something that maybe will be possible, but it will need
some time).

Unfortunately I've had to go before being able to implement all the things I
wanted to put on the CDD Toolkit (now renamed to CDDT instead of CDDTk, as
some people told me that the CDDTk name gave them the impression that it was
something related to TCL/Tk), but I believe that if there is people interested
it can be finished and uploaded to Debian soon.

The current status of the development and the tools available can be seen on
the slides I used on a talk a couple of weeks ago in Málaga, available on
http://people.debian.org/~sto/Malaga2006/ and of course looking at the current
packages available on http://people.debian.org/~sto/cddt/.

The current tools still miss important things to be usable by the general
public, the most important one being the cddt-installer package.

I did a lot of things manually for the LliureX installer and I was planning to
automatize them when building the newer installer based on the current etch
d-i, but I have not had the time to review the changes done, and it looks that
there are many (maybe not too important for my purposes, but I need to review
it to know).

There is also more work needed on the integration with cdbs and debhelper; the
rules used to build metapacackages need more simplification and automatization
(a lot of things have to be done by the developer right now) and there are
repetitive things done on the packages that use the runtime system that could
be done by a dh_cddt script, but I have not had the time to write it.

Now, I would like to know if there is still interest on the toolkit and ask
to those interested what should I do now.

My idea was to split the current system into different source packages and
upload the things that already work before than the things that still need

Basically that will mean to upload the current cddt-runtime first, as it is
already usable to customize installed systems building configuration packages
(in fact it is probably usable by debian-edu and other people using
post-installation scripts).

The second package will be the cddt-tools package, but it will have less
functionality that the one initially described, that is, I would add the
missing things to make it a good way of building metapackages from the current
CDD description files, leaving the implementation of the mainteinance commands
and the support of other package selection mechanisms like debtags for a
version 2 package.

And the last one will be the cddt-installer package, split into the needed
udebs (probably one will be enough) and the cddt-tools components related to
the installer (tools needed to get preseedings from the CDD description and to
be able to select CDD tasks to install).

Besides all that I think that the CDDT could also integrate well with the
Debian Live project (http://live.debian.net/wiki/), as it seems that the
proposed system will be based on the debian-installer's hardware detection
system and the use of the CDD description to build the Live root filesystem is
already possible (to some extent the LliureX LiveCD does it that way).

I don't know how much time I'll use to work on the CDDT in the near future,
but I'm sure that having someone else interested will help to keep the project
going and probably it can develop faster that before, as things have not been
as fast as I wanted them to be while being paid to work on the development of
a Debian Derived Distribution.



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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