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Bits from Debian-Diaspora team


This is the first bit from Debian-Diaspora team and what better time to send it than now, when we are only 35% away from reaching our goal of packaging Diaspora for Debian. More that 100 Rubygem packages built by Debian-Diaspora team has already hit the Debian repo. But we still have a long way to go and we could definitely use some more helping hands (for more info, see bottom).

 I would like to congratulate all the package maintainers from Debian-Diaspora team. You guys rock! Here is our wonderful team:

Praveen Arimbrathodiyil 
Cedric Boutillier 
Vasudev Kamath
Markus Tornow 
Sana Khan
Vamsee Kanakala
Anish Sheela
Srihari K
Nandaja Varma
Jishnu Mohan
Hemanth H. M.
Hrishikesh K. B
Balasankar C.
and much more people, to be added later (sorry)

This project was started 6 months ago by Praveen Arimbrathodiyil to make it easier for Debian users to install Diaspora via their terminal without worrying about the dependencies. This involves packaging all the Rubygems on which diaspora is depending upon, that is exactly 155 Rubygems out of which we have packaged 101 gems already. 

Initially we followed this almost perfect piratepad document http://piratepad.net/tu0H1eU2vH , created by Praveen Arimbrathodiyil and Cedric Boutillier. We could make a head start with Rubygem packaging with the help of this document without any prior knowledge on packaging. Cedric Boutillier started maintaining a graph (http://people.debian.org/~boutil/diaspora/ ), pictorially representing the state of all Rubygems diaspora is depending upon. The graph gets updated everyday. This helped us keep track of our project status. Alongside, Markus Tornow started maintaining a wiki page on Diaspora packaging (http://wiki.debian.org/Diaspora/Packaging ) which includes a neat description of packaging procedures including all the gotchas one might encounter. The wiki is still growing and soon will reach an almost perfect state. :)

As the project progressed, it became hard to analyze the project status from the graph only, so Anish Anil Kumar made a web page (http://vps.aneesh.nl/diaspora.html ) that lists all the Rubygems required by Diaspora along with its current status, like packaged, unpackaged, ITP filed etc. The page also includes a progress bar that displays the current status of the project clearly. The page is being updated automatically everyday.

Packaging gets a little bit challenging when it comes to the testing part of Rubygems. To solve this issue, Vamsee and Hemanth have the idea of making the tests more automated by modifying gem2deb, the suite we use for packaging Rubygems.

We usually push the packages to the debian-diaspora repo in gitorious (https://gitorious.org/debian-diaspora ). One can find our work there.

Like one can refer from the progress bar (http://vps.aneesh.nl/diaspora.html ), for this project to reach a clean 100% we have 54 gems left to be packaged. So we are going to need more contributors to reach our goal as soon as possible. Packaging a Rubygem is actually quite easy and interesting. If anybody is interested in packaging and would like to contribute to Debian-Diaspora project our wiki page (http://wiki.debian.org/Diaspora/Packaging ) is the best place to start with. You can refer the piratepad document (http://piratepad.net/tu0H1eU2vH ) as well. You can always find any one of us at #debian-dispora irc channel in OFTC network for online help (http://client00.chat.mibbit.com/?channel=%23debian-diaspora&server=irc.oftc.net ). So drop in at our IRC channel whenever you can (preferably during weekends after 3.30PM GMT, 9PM Indian time) and  get started. :) 

Nandaja Varma

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