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Re: Debian derivatives census: missing SHA-1 hashes

On Aug 15, 2011, at 00:06, Paul Wise wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 14, 2011 at 11:56 PM, Ryan Finnie wrote:
>> Was this meant to be sent to the entire list?  It would be nice to
>> announce new tests to the list as they come up, but I saw this and
>> went to my archive to check (I'm doing MD5/SHA1/SHA256).
> Yes, as a result of this discussion:
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-derivatives/2011/07/threads.html#00021
> http://lists.debian.org/debian-derivatives/2011/07/msg00021.html
> Sorry I sent you checking, hmmmmmm.
>> Also, IMHO a good idea would be a Lintian-like web interface for
>> derivatives so we can check at a glance which tests have been
>> triggered for a particular derivative.
> Sounds like a good idea, will have a think about how to integrate such
> a thing into the census scripts.

Yeah, sounds like a great idea. Lintian has a relatively new "vendor" interface which pulls information from dpkg-vendor. (The canonical source for dpkg is /etc/dpkg/origins/default). From this key one can tell Lintian to run, or not run, a certain set of tests.

This means one can install Lintian, set up a set of relevant tests for the specific derivative, and produce reports per derivative. This type of report could be wrapped in html for a web based report which hopefully would include all the added test documentation - nothing more frustrating than trying to track down a Lintian error that has no documentation. (That has improved significantly in recent years IMHO.)

The Lintian developers are well informed by Debian policy, accept patches, and are generally friendly and helpful, so getting involved directly on the Lintian maintainers list is one way to go towards building this web interface. There a recent document called README.developers in the Lintian git repo which is a work in progress. It is being designed to help developers use Lintian for their own purposes and to help Debian people who want to work on Lintian. 

I can see a lot of potential in Ryan's idea - the easy ability to compare packages and policy across derivatives will only help users find a particular distro that suits their particular needs.



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