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Re: what about a unofficial public community repo? (was: Re: qmail and related packages in NEW)

On Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 6:42 AM, William Pitcock
<nenolod@sacredspiral.co.uk> wrote:

> I think issues like these call for an unsupported repository outside of
> Debian, but publicized within the community as an unofficial repository
> for things like qmail, packages unwanted in Debian proper for the time
> being, etc.
> That way if people want to run qmail, they can easily get it, but under
> the understanding that it was unofficial and totally unsupported by
> Debian itself. (A debbugs installation could be provided for maintainers
> if necessary though.)
> We could also use this repository as a way for teaching new maintainers
> (as an alternative to sponsorship, for the most part) -- packages that
> people use could be cherrypicked out of this archive by DDs who want the
> package in Debian.

I've long been thinking a debian-unsupported.org archive; something
for all those packages that we don't support because they haven't been
good enough to get into Debian or were chucked out of Debian,
basically the Debian answer to Ubuntu's universe. The main reason I
started thinking about this was that I got annoyed when QA folks chuck
orphaned packages (i've changed my mind about this since though).
However, this isn't the only reason I think this is a good idea -
there are lots of packages and package repositories out there that
Debian and our users could benefit from, but that are not up to
scratch enough to support in Debian. Gathering these in one place
would help our users to find packages for software they need but is
unsupported. It would also help Debian get more popcon data about
non-Debian packages and provide a source for rough packages.

Some ramblings about what it might involve:

strictly for packages not in Debian or not updated in Debian - any
package not supported by Debian - it should whine about or reject
directly uploaded packages that have a maintainer or where someone
seems to be "supporting" a particular package by doing lots of

automatic merging of packages removed from Debian and packages
uploaded to Ubuntu, Nexenta, Preventa, mentors, revu and any other
Debian-based distros that have public archives.

addition of automatically created packages using the tool that was
recently posted about on debian-devel

software would be a combination of dak, ubuntu's merge-o-matic (or
similar), maybe debbugs, pdo, pts, patches.u.c, maybe DDPO, buildd
stuff, lintian and perhaps others.

DDs would be discouraged from participating since they should be
supporting packages/etc within Debian instead.

Allow uploads from DDs, DMs, NMs, DD-connected mentors.d.n keys,
DD-connected REVU keys, Ubuntu developer keys, Ubuntu MOTU keys and
people in a separate MOTU (master of the unsupported) keyring that is
relatively easy to get into.

Infrastructure should be similarly supported and hosted by mainly
non-DDs; buildds, porting machines and so on.

not sure if integrating debian-ports.org there is appropriate or not,
but maybe it would be a good idea later down the track.

A while ago on -devel there was a post about automatic creation of
rough packages using automatic software discovery and AI techniques
for the packaging, I definitely want to feed that into this idea.

Once all the repositories are merged into one place, then we can
export all their patches against debiann to merge.debian.net and have
that linked from the PTS like patches.ubuntu.com is. More about that
idea here:




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