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Re: PPAs for Debian

On Tue, May 03, 2011 at 02:46:11PM -0600, René Mayorga wrote:
> > Yes, absolutely. I'd even dare to say that having something like PPA for
> > Debian is a priority. 
> I do not agree on this, if the package is good enough and has somebody willing
> to maintain it, the package may belong to the archive.
> If the package is on the archive it will get automatic and manual QA tests, and
> it can take advantage on all the already existing tools(PTS, DDPO, BTS, etc).
> but if we set yet another archive that will be open for anyone (like PPA) we will
> get packages with low quality, and maybe some users blaming debian about the
> quality being dropped when they confuse this and think those are official 
> packages/repositories.

There are two views of PPAs, one is internal for developers, one is
external for users.

The internal for developers is offering a lightweight framework to
experiment with changes that would be otherwise unfeasible to experiment
with (for a whole lot of reasons, e.g.: it's freeze time and you can't
upload "dangerous" stuff; you can't use experimental because you're
already using it with another development line; you want to show that
you've valuable changes to offer also for packages you do not maintain
and with which the legitimate maintainer disagree and want to be
convinced you're right). According to that view, PPAs are nothing short
of a "debhub" (see one of the first mails from Pierre Habouzit in this
thread, who has surely described this concept better than me in this

The view above is the one I see as a priority for Debian, as it will
enable developers to experiment with important changes against the
inertia that plagues us (or "too big size", as put down by others in
this thread).

The user view is different, is about using PPAs to deliver non-official
packages to users. I agree that such a view might be plagued by the
problem you mention. Of course, being realistic, to have the above view
we will also need a way for the users to test packages as developers
themselves will need to test "forked" packages in the first place. As
long as it is clear that PPAs are not official Debian and it is not "too
easy" to get to them, I don't see a problem with it. After all, in that
respect what is the difference between that and unofficial APT
repositories that many of us already maintain at people.d.o/~something
or something.debian.net? Do you want to shut them down as well?


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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