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Re: More on the future LDAP admin gui in Debian Edu

Hello Jürgen,

I'm trying to keep it short this time, since the outcome was already in
the discussion thread with Philipp. :-)

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 12:52:52PM +0200, Jürgen Leibner wrote:
> So I suspect you havn't read this: 
> http://wiki.debian.org/DebianEdu/Contribute/Development or asked to for 
> that information?

The page says that it may be "outdated" because of work focus on the
DVD, but since you recommend it, I assume it's still valid, which was
also Philipps statement.

I'm also using SVN for some of my own projects, but indeed, the
possibility to just add packages as "request for comment" without prior
discussion was new for me. So, you propose that I just create svn
repositories for packages, maybe as duplicates of the ones from the
individual developers?

As mentioned earlier, the main problem is not technology or platform,
but manpower. We have merely enough programmers for getting the software
in a usable state, but packagers are even more rare. That's why we were
setting our hopes in the community, i.e. is there anybody available for
helping out with Skolelinux-specific packaging who could work with our
team? Apparently, not yet. And before no official packages are present
on the Skolelinux platform, CipUX won't appear on the installation CDs.

> The french team has done their own add-on-cd in 2006. Their packages are 
> until now in the skolelinux svn. Have you tried to come in to the svn 
> with your packages?
> CipUX was added to the package lists for being on the CD/DVD by Xavier 
> Oswald in 2006 as the debian-edu changelog tells:
> ---8<----------------
>   [ Xavier Oswald ]
>   * main-server task:
>     - Depend on moodle-debian-edu-theme, moodle-cipux, cipux-all
>     - Recommend moodle-courses-fr, debian-edu-fr-all, 
> debian-edu-fr-skels.
>       These packages contain French data so they are reduce to 
> recommend.
>     - Depend on cipux-common, cipux-cibot, cipux-cat-webmin, cipux-rpc,
>       cipux-profile. These packages come from the cipux repository.
> ---8<----------------

I believe that was the older CipUX version, but CipUX had been restarted
from scratch since then, as far as Christian told me, and has a cleaner
design right now, though less features than the old version.

> Why not try to come in again?

I'm eager to do this, but need help from the CipUX upstream developers
plus one or the other Skolelinux packager in order to get things right.

> As you can see how GOsa² came in, why didn't you try to do it the same 
> way?

I didn't see Gosa coming in, sorry if I have not followed discussion
close enough.

> > What we DID is, installing CipUX on top of official Skolelinux,
> > partly from existing packages made by Jonas Smedegaard, and the rest
> > by following Kurt Gramlichs long installation instructions for those
> > parts that are not officially packaged yet. Also, we created a new
> > GUI (CATWeasel) designed to represent only the small subset of LDAP
> > tasks needed by teachers and students, while most sysadmin tools are
> > used by supporters in our schools and don't need to be accessible by
> > teachers. We forked italc (since we were told not to - under any
> > circumstances - change existing packages in Debian because some kind
> > of assumed "policy violation" that I don't fully comprehend) for
> > interfacing with examination mode and internet access control and a
> > HTML widget to integrate with CipUX, for easy use by teachers from
> > their desktop. In fact, there is a lot of work done in those yet
> > "unofficial" packages that are designed to easily be installed on top
> > of Skolelinux as well as Debian Lenny.
> Very good work, but why did you build your own infrastructure and did 
> not use ours?

This is easy to answer. Like each and every Free Software project, ours
too, has its own development platform right were our work focus is, and
we also have our own hardware equipment that allows us to easily build
and test a complete installation using a virtualized classroom, plus
excellent internet connection at the university of applied sciences in
Zweibrücken/Germany, where we also hold developer meetings.

> > > So the question I agreed to is:
> > > "Why are the people using it in Rheinland-Pfalz, are not activly
> > > working on integrating CipUX in skolelinux?"
> > >
> > > > What is "this"?
> > >
> > > " integrating CipUX in skolelinux"
> >
> > So, again, what is "integrating CipUX in Skolelinux" other than
> > deciding that existing installable packages are accepted and possibly
> > modified in their initial setup so that they fit in? How can we do
> > this? Not only for CipUX but also for italc and linbo (which are
> > independent of CipUX)?
> This question I leave to be answered by the so called skolelinux 
> developers, cause I'm not one. ;-)

I don't consider myself being a Skolelinux developer, rather a
development coordinator for our local add-ons, but I would like to meet
some volunteers that could help us with our packaging for Skolelinux.

> > Unfortunately, the developer base working on CipUX itself is very
> > small, but, as Jonas already said, the core parts of CipUX are
> > already in Debian.
> >
> > What needs to be changed in order to make these packages fit into an
> > official Debian blend, needs to be done by an official Debian-Edu
> > maintainer, or am I wrong here? It's not sufficient that our packages
> > run fine on our own Skolelinux installations.
> What do you think, how fine your packages will run on top of skolelinux 
> in the future, or how many work you will have on upgrades, if you not 
> work on skolelinux to make sure it will be devloped to fit to the needs 
> of CipUX?

>From my own experience, it's easier to get volunteers continuing to work
on a project, if it is already established and in productive use in some
prominent use cases. And as far as it looks to me, our attemts to raise
interest in Skolelinux-RLP was not very successful in the past, until we
had a proof-of-concet that just works. Schools that can see our stuff
running at project schools installed and maintained by professional
supporters, or inside a virtualized scenario, and so they know what they
get when they decide for Skolelinux-RLP.

Once the entire system is complete and tested thoroughly, the remaining
task für the future will be to keep up to new Skolelinux versions and
add one or the other new feature, but this is easier once there is a
wider range of schools that use the system on a daily base.

It may be that some of our development are superseded or obsoleted by
new developments in Skolelinux in a few years, but others may be adopted
or integrated in other school network solutions as well.
> The only thing to decide for you, is from my point of view: "Do you want 
> to step in and take the long run integrating all the famous work done 
> already in the RLP project, beside your deadlines in the RLP-Project?"

I already think beyond the projects official end (I see no way to get
anything into Skolelinux earlier), it's just always the same problem of
how much time we can spend and how many developers will be available by
then. Our plan is to have the addons feature-complete by end of this
year, so we can cleanly handover our work to whoever is going to
continue, and we publish every milestone on our site, which is the
easiest and quickest way to publish.


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