[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Concerns about infrastructure for Alioth replacement

I am a Debian contributor (and Alioth user).

First off, I think that [replacing] Alioth with something more
maintainable is a good thing to do and I am grateful to the people who
are working hard to make this happen.

[replacing]: <https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2017/09/msg00004.html>

I read through the [minutes] of the Alioth sprint and I learned that
GitLab has been chosen as the project-hosting-system to use (rather
than Pagure, which was initially suggested). Well, let's hope that
things go smoothly, despite the "open core" strategy followed by the
company behind GitLab (a strategy that I dislike)...

[minutes]: <https://gobby.debian.org/export/Sprints/AliothSuccessors2017/Minutes>

In the [minutes], I read:

| * Decision: We are going with GitLab and we are using upstreams packages.

I am a bit worried about the message that the Debian Project is sending
out by refusing to use a Debian package and preferring the unpackaged
upstream version.
I mean: from the point of view of someone who is outside of the
Project, it seems that the Debian Project itself thinks that Debian
packages should be avoided!   :-(

|   -> Debian packages are same in stable, testing and unstable, and so a 
|   bit stale compared to upstream:
|     - we understand and acknowledge that packaging such a big piece of software
|       is a lot of work, especially regarding architectural changes, but we will
|       need fresher versions especially if we want support (consulting) from
|       Gitlab, request new features to go in the CE edition, etc. Also, we are
|       in a hurry.

I would say that this issue with the Debian packages of GitLab should
be addressed by helping the Debian Ruby Extras Maintainers to improve
the Debian packages and to keep them more up-to-date.

After all, if you just fix an issue on your own system, the same issue
will have to be fixed elsewhere again and again. On the other hand, if
you help the maintainer to fix the issue *in* the Debian package, every
user of the package will benefit from the fix...
You probably agree that this is a basic idea behind the very concept of

I understand the hurry, but I am convinced that the Debian packages of
GitLab should be used as soon as possible for the Alioth replacement.

|   -> Debian packages do follow the policies and standards of Debian (GOOD!), but
|      it means that anything you find about gitlab does NOT fit. Howtos, tips, whatever,
|      everything is assuming the upstream look. -> Added Maintenance Burden.

This reasoning reinforces the bad message sent out by the decision to
use the upstream version: it might even seem that the Debian Project
itself is admitting that using Debian packages is unpractical and that
Debian policies and standards make everything work in a weird way.  :-(

|    Note: If, at some point in the future, the package as in Debian, is the better
|    choice, we can switch.

As I said, I really hope that this switch will happen very very soon.
If possible, even before the official debut of the Alioth replacement!

I hope that voicing my concerns was useful.
Bye and thanks for reading so far.

P.S.: I am not subscribed to the mailing lists; please Cc me on
replies, if any. Thanks for your understanding!

 There's not a second to spare! To the laboratory!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

Attachment: pgplrL0zF9qb1.pgp
Description: PGP signature

Reply to: