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Re: Good communication with upstream is good idea

On Sun, Jul 20, 2008, Neil Williams wrote:
> How would you relicence it in a manner that prevents use in Ubuntu but
> retains DFSG compatibility to remain in Debian main?
> I ask because emdebian-tools isn't intended for Ubuntu either. See [0] -
> emdebian-tools also depends on server resources provided only by Debian
> (in this case, the package repositories containing compatible packages
> which I can use to generate cross-dependencies).
> "emdebian-tools is not intended for Ubuntu but I don't have a way of
> encoding that in the package. "

 We had exactly the same conversation over email, but since you didn't
 reply to my last email, perhaps you didn't get it?  Anyway, as I would
 reply in basically the same ways, allow me to repeat a slightly edited
 response below:

On Wed, Jul 16, 2008, Neil Williams wrote:
> In a word: binaries.
> It is a bootstrapping problem - to build packages, you need the
> dependencies. Ubuntu does not have any ARM packages and the packages
> that we need to use are the ones with the most changes between Debian
> and Ubuntu. The patches that we use are Debian-specific.

 I certainly hear you concerning missing binaries; this is likely to
 change soonish with armel: I suppose Emdebian will move to armel
 soonish (as arm will probably be dropped in favor of armel post lenny),
 and Ubuntu will soon start an armel port as well (based on Debian's).
 However I don't quite get the "patches" part.  Ubuntu basically
 "rebases" on a new Debian snapshot every six months; this just happened
 for Ubuntu "intrepid" suite, so anything which happened on the Debian
 side should also be present in the Ubuntu side.


 Ah I recall that blog post; I recall I wanted to write a reply to it
 too, but never came to it.

 Allow me to come back to your blog post now if you don't mind:
 1) you're saying Launchpad is another web-login to carry; I'm happy to
 report that Launchpad is moving to openid [already commented in this

 2) you're explaining that nobody cared about a bug filed against
 emdebian-tools in Ubuntu in a long time; that's certainly sad, the same
 could be said about many Debian bugs too, and many other Ubuntu bugs;
 because Debian packages are automatically imported into Ubuntu, this
 might happen; I personally think it's more beneficial for people
 intereted in random Debian packages which have been auto-imported to
 continue this way; this might be problematic for e.g. security
 sensitive packages, but I don't see why it would be for emdebian

 3) "emdebian-tools is not intended for Ubuntu but I don't have a way of
 encoding that in the package"; I think it's hard to tell from your side
 what derivatives would /not/ be interested in; I believe there are very
 little packages which are truly distro specific: perhaps keyrings or
 meta packages, and I'm not even sure.  Consider debootstrapping Debian
 from Ubuntu or vice versa, pbuilding in the same combinations, or
 creating virtual machines.  The same could apply to emdebian tools; of
 course there's no official Ubuntu arm port, but did you know that Nokia
 built many of the last Ubuntu releases for arm with almost zero
 modifications?  Ubuntu is also preparing an armel port.  So I'm not
 sure it's easy to tell whether emdebian is suitable for Ubuntu or not.
 Certainly using the criteria of native versionning of a package is not
 a good criteria to decide.

> emdebian-tools is tightly integrated into Debian (and Debian unstable in
> particular) and is, naturally, a Debian native package (it was written
> to support Embedded Debian after all, not UbuntuMobile).

 I don't think bringing Ubuntu Mobile in there is related at all.  Ubuntu
 Mobile itself (nowadays also known as Ubuntu MID) is currently quite
 unrelated to Emdebian; some reasons for this:
 1) Ubuntu Mobile targets lpia and only lpia for now; this is like x86
 2) the UI is hildon and moblin based and images are built with moblin
    tools and patches but moblin packages aren't in Debian at all
 3) arm isn't a target nor is cross-building; packages are built
 4) special patches are applied on lpia and lpia only, hence any other
    architecture wouldn't work without some porting; yes, that's ugly

 So, yes, Ubuntu Mobile wouldn't make a good use of Emdebian tools
 because it's unrelated; however there might be interest for these tools
 from an Ubuntu environment.

>                                                          It isn't
> intended to work on Ubuntu because Ubuntu does not provide the foreign
> packages needed for linking when cross building, those come exclusively
> from Debian. Same with apt-cross, it is exclusively designed for Debian,
> Debian mirrors and Debian buildd configurations. How is emdebian-tools
> meant to cross-build for ARM on Ubuntu when Ubuntu does not provide ARM
> packages and makes changes to the equivalent Debian packages? To me it
> seems highly unlikely that cross versions of Debian packages would
> install over a Ubuntu base, especially when those packages are the
> typical debootstrap selection that have a variety of changes in Ubuntu.

 i)   all the packages you mention (patched packages and tools) are being
      imported and updated in Ubuntu regularly
 ii)  you might want to build Debian based images from an Ubuntu env
 iii) an Ubuntu arm port might as well exist outside of the Ubuntu
      official mirrors, just like the Nokia one, or might come to life
      later on

Loïc Minier

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