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Re: Bootstrappable Debian - proposal of needed changes

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:17:07PM +0000, Neil Williams wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Jan 2013 21:51:32 +0100
> Wouter Verhelst <wouter@debian.org> wrote:
> > On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 09:34:16AM +0100, Johannes Schauer wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > > 
> > > On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 08:33:57AM +0100, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
> > > > If wanna-build is updated to support these two fields, then I imagine
> > > > it can run the bootstrapping dependency algorithm. While you wouldn't
> > > > want to upload a package to the debian.org archive when the
> > > > architecture is as yet incomplete, the same isn't true for the
> > > > debian-ports.org archive.
> Much (most?) bootstrapping is going to be cross-building which
> wanna-build doesn't do.

Correct, because it doesn't do *any* building. Instead, wanna-build just
tracks what's been built and what still needs doing. It already has a
concept of binNMU ("yes, this has already been built, I know. Go ahead
and do it again anyway"), which isn't very far from multiple builds of
the same source due as is required for bootstrapping.

Whether the buildd builds a package by using a cross-compiler, an
emulated machine, a native compiler, or by praying to the gods of
computers, wanna-build couldn't care less. There's just an interface
that, by accident, isn't really used by anything but buildd. There's no
particular reason why this should be the case, though.

Anyway, I don't mean to push for any one solution, I just thought I'd
make the suggestion. The advantage of doing this with wanna-build would
be that we don't need to swap out (at least that part of) the
infrastructure once the initial bootstrap has been done.

> Bootstrapping support can be implemented without explicit support in
> the main archive software (other than allow-and-ignore) and,
> personally, I think that is the correct way to manage things.

I understand that sentiment.

However, at the same time, I don't think there's much harm in adding
support for these kinds of fields in other places. On the contrary; I
think if you do add that kind of support to the tools that could make
sense of them (even if it doesn't seem to make sense to add said support
to a given tool -- no pun intended), people will take those tools and do
incredible things with them, things that go far beyond the original
intended purpose of what you were trying to do. Generally, I think
that's a good thing.

Copyshops should do vouchers. So that next time some bureaucracy requires you
to mail a form in triplicate, you can mail it just once, add a voucher, and
save on postage.

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