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Re: Tracking derivatives delta: explanations, history [Was: Sponsoring a Tails hackfest?]

On Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 4:50 AM, intrigeri wrote:
> Paul Wise wrote (02 Jun 2014 15:56:56 GMT) :
>> The replacement for stabile.d.o (snapshot.d.o secondary replica) is
>> getting closer to being ready, [...]. Here are the results from
>> before the stabile.d.o hardware failure though: [...]

An update on that:

The new hardware is setup and DSA have installed the necessary tools.
There are two limitations with the current setup though:

Less disk space available for the census scripts/patches. Workarounds
might be to not store new/modified packages and not store giant
patches (some were 1GB in size). Moving the debdiffs from
pre-generated to just-in-time might help too.

Generation will be slower, needs more memory and a tmpfs. I will
probably workaround this by putting some limitations on which packages
will get debdiffs.

Couple ideas that came out of the resulting discussion with DSA:

Expand snapshot.d.o to the derivatives too. This would require more hardware.

Add a debdiff service to snapshot.d.o for just-in-time diffs.

> a. Enable anyone to easily find potential action items; that is:
>    make it easy to filter what should be ignored ("legit" delta) and
>    what should be improved.

My idea here was to add that to the new tracker.d.o interface and
associate it with the person who logged in, since what people want to
see might be different.

> b. Visualize the evolution of a given derivative's delta with Debian
>    => detect if the situation is improving or getting out of control
>    => derivatives developers can be happy and proud, or react
>    promptly; Debian contributors can evaluate how a given derivative
>    is "nice" to Debian.

Should be easy to add rrdtool graphs or the like. If we want something
more advanced than that, a database would probably be required.

> We have also thought *a bit* of potential technical changes that would
> help us reach these goals:
> 1. Have explanations about the delta in each case

That information should be in debian/changelog, which would be in the delta.

>    Ideally, for 3.0 (quilt) packages, compare-source-package-list
>    could look into debian/patches for derivatives-specific patches,
>    and retrieve information from DEP-3 headers.

That sounds like an interesting complement to diffs of debian/changelog.

> 2. Generate graphs displaying the evolution of a derivative's delta
>    This requires storing history of at least sources.{new,patches},
>    and having some code that generates graphs out of it. Presumably,
>    once specified properly, this could be a great task for someone
>    learning programming.

sources.{new,patches} already store both current and historical data.
The reason is that even if a derivative drops a patch you might still
want to include it in Debian, deciding on that should be up to the

BTW: I plan to have a DebConf14 BoF about the derivatives
patch-generation stuff.



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