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RFH: Debtags - Evolution of package metadata

[since I got the X-Debbugs-CC wrong, I'm doing the reposting manually]

Package: wnpp
Severity: normal
X-debbugs-cc: debian-devel@lists.debian.org, debtags-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org

The size of Debian increases, and the "Sections:" system has proven
unable to scale to keep pace with it.  There has been much consensus
around a multiple tags per package solution: the Debian Package Tags
system is a working implementation.

Debtags is one of the most interesting prospective expansions of the
Debian package metadata, it contains promosing prototypes and has
received very good feedback so far.

The problem is, there are only three people actively working on it:

  Erich Schubert takes care of the central tag archive at
  http://debian.vitavonni.de/packagebrowser/ and part of the tag

  Thaddeus H. Black takes care of debram, which is another independent
  effort to improve package metadata and is intended to eventually merge
  into debtags.

  Enrico Zini (me) takes care of all the implementation and Debian
  packaging of the system components, and the other part of the tag

I find myself responsible for too many things, and as the system evolves
I can't keep up with it.  Currently, it already consists of 6 source

    libtagcoll Functions for handling collections of tagged items.
       tagcoll Commandline wrapper around libtagcoll, and generic
               manipulation tool for tagged collections.
   tagcolledit GUI interface for mass-editing of tagged collections.
    libdebtags Function for handling the Debian package metadata,
               extended with tag informations
       debtags Commandline wrapper around libdebtags, and administration
               tool for the Debian Package Tags
  debtags-edit GUI interface for searching packages and updating their

This is their dependency interrelationship:

    tagcoll          Depends on libtagcoll
    tagcolledit      Depends on libtagcoll
    libdebtags       Depends on libtagcoll
      debtags        Depends on libdebtags
      debtags-edit   Depends on libdebtags

To keep up with the expansion and evolution of the project, we need more

The main, extremely sought help is to have someone taking care of the
Debian packaging, so that I can focus on being a productive "upstream":
I'm a better software designer/developer than Debian maintainer, and I'm
spending too much time in figuring out how to setup library versions
that I could better spend in implementing some long-awaited feature.

Other "job openings" could be:
 - Creating library bindings to languages different than C++
 - Gtk-- developers to help on the GUI tools
 - C++ developers writing test cases
 - People taking care of part of the the facet/tag structure, providing
   new know-how for categorizing things we don't know much about,
   writing descriptions, reorganizing the taxonomy
 - People using debtags and its libraries in their applications, or
   making sample applications that make use of the libraries
 - C++ and i18n/l10n experts to help in taking things away from the C
 - People taking care of the web space of the project

Please consider joining the team: working on the Debian Package Tags is
extremely interesting, rewarding and overall a big lot of fun!



GPG key: 1024D/797EBFAB 2000-12-05 Enrico Zini <enrico@debian.org>

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