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Intent to repackage a whole lot of webmin stuff

To be precise, the following source packages:

webmin - Web-based administration toolkit
webmin-apache - apache control module for webmin
webmin-bind8 - bind 8+ control module for webmin
webmin-burner - CD burning module for webmin
webmin-cluster-software - cluster software control module for webmin
webmin-cluster-useradmin - cluster user control module for webmin
webmin-core - core modules for webmin
webmin-cpan - CPAN module for webmin
webmin-dhcpd - dhcpd control module for webmin
webmin-exports - NFS exports control module for webmin
webmin-fetchmail - fetchmail mail retrieval module for webmin
webmin-fsdump - dump and restore control module for webmin
webmin-grub - grub control module for webmin
webmin-heartbeat - heartbeat monitor control module for webmin
webmin-inetd - inetd control module for webmin
webmin-jabber - jabber server control module for webmin
webmin-lpadmin - printer control module for webmin
webmin-lvm - webmin control module for lvm
webmin-mon - mon control module for webmin
webmin-mysql - mysql-server control module for webmin
webmin-nis - NIS clients/servers control module for webmin
webmin-postfix - postfix control module for webmin
webmin-postgresql - postgresql control module for webmin
webmin-ppp - PPP configuration module for webmin
webmin-qmailadmin - qmail control module for webmin
webmin-quota - disk quota control module for webmin
webmin-raid - raid control module for webmin
webmin-samba - samba control module for webmin
webmin-sendmail - sendmail control module for webmin
webmin-sentry - Security sentries module for webmin
webmin-software - software packages control module for webmin
webmin-squid - squid control module for webmin
webmin-sshd - SSH server control module for webmin
webmin-ssl - Dummy upgrade package for webmin
webmin-status - server and system status control module for webmin
webmin-stunnel - stunnel control module for webmin
webmin-usermin - usermin control module for webmin
webmin-wuftpd - wu-ftpd control module for webmin
webmin-xinetd - xinetd control module for webmin

For those who don't know, webmin is a framework for web-based system
administration tools written in perl and a number of different modules for
specific tasks.  It is released by the upstream developer as one big
tarball though intra-release updates to individual modules are also
available seperately.

The Problem
The framework and most of these modules are already
packaged as part of the webmin source package but I want to split it up
into all these seperate source packages for the following reasons:

1.  a couple of these packages use java, At least one doesn't build with
kaffe so will have to go into contrib.  Thus a split has to happen anyway.

2.  New modules are added with each release.  However new packages require
special processing by the FTP admins so the whole set of packages gets

3.  Similiarly it only takes one bad dependency on one architecture for
the whole thing to be kept out of testing.  True that package can be
temporarily not built but that still requires a new upload.


I mentioned what I was going to do on IRC and a number of people took the
time to explain why this might not be a good idea.

1.  Upstream does not do it that way, you are creating a fork and he might
not want to coperate.

answer: upstream distributes a big tarball for convenience but in fact
each module stands alone and is developed seperately.

2.  You may end up with a situation where Debian contains modules from a
mix of releases.  This could cause problems if the framework API has
changed between releases.

answer:  Based on my experience, this is a low risk.  New releases usually
are for new modules or bug fixes not API changes.  If such a thing does
happen I'll deal with it then but it seems pointless to pass up practical
utility now for theoretical utility at a later date.

3.  This will be a big hassle to maintain in the long run both for you and
for the poor sap who has to replace you when you go MIA/are hit by a bus

answer:  It is slightly more work for me but not much, I'm automating the
process.  I will document everything so my successor will know what I have
done.  (Not that there will be one because I'm not going anywhere.)

4: All those tiny packages are bloat and unnecessary work for the FTP

answer:  Nobody uses every single webmin module.  From the security
standpoint and common sense it is not a good idea to have installed stuff
you don't actually use.  Every user I've talked to has liked the idea of
mddules being seperately installable and removable.  This way involves
some extra work for thew FTPadmins yes, but by dividing webmin into small
discrete w packages actually makes it easier for them because they can add
the new packages at their leisure without disrupting the other ones.

I would like to hear from anyone who has more comments on this.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar@debian.org>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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