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PPAs for Debian

On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 12:07:24PM +0200, Andreas Barth wrote:
> * Philipp Kern (trash@philkern.de) [110430 09:49]:
> > It's not that it isn't meant.  Of course we could also look at overlay
> > solutions.  (That said, while I'm very happy about mozilla.debian.net, I
> > somehow still feel that those packages should be added in a co-installable way
> > into some official suites.  But then you get back to the "we don't support
> > all architectures yet" department, I presume.)
> I think it would make quite sense to get something like e.g. ppa done for
> Debian. But thats something else than it's proposed here.

Yes, absolutely. I'd even dare to say that having something like PPA for
Debian is a priority. It would be yet another way to enable people to
experiment with big changes in Debian, showing their value, with minimum
impact on the work of others.

It happens that I've a recent update on this topic to share. There were
some concerns about the need of something like a NEW queue for Debian's
PPA, for legal reasons. I had a long phone call with SPI lawyer about
this just yesterday. It turns out that there are a few provisions we
should follow to stay on the safe side, but there is no specific blocker
either. We can go ahead, individual maintainers will be responsible of
what they upload / distribute via PPA.

What we lack for that to become a reality is "just" the code. Marc and
Tollef had set up a nice proposal [1] for GSoC this year and were
willing to mentor it, but unfortunately no student has shown up. If
there are people willing to contribute some development cycles to Debian
(no need to be a DD), that's a wonderful opportunity.

Some FAQ on this topic:

Q: Why don't you use Launchpad's PPA? 
A: Last time I looked into it (together with some Launchpad engineers at
   past UDS), the PPA module was too tightly integrated with other
   Launchpad parts to be deployable on Debian infrastructure

Q: Didn't Canonical offer a PPA service to Debian?
A: Only rumors, TTBOMK. And anyhow I believe it would be better to have
   an independent infrastructure that we are in full control of. That
   poses extra constraints on which kind of offer would fit our needs
   (constraints that we cannot force an independent company to fulfill)


[1] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2011/DevPkgRepo

Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, |  .  |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams

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