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emdebian-tools : roadmap to a stable v1.0

OK, emdebian-tools in SVN (soon to be 0.8.1) has outline support for
machine:variant *patches* as well as for package selection. The manpages
have been updated and include a few provisos and cautions:


$ emsource -a arm -m balloon -V gpe -c $package

Note that the short version of --variant is V - capital V (lower case v
is for --version).

This should allow some people to configure busybox for nokia devices
differently to how others configure it for balloon3 etc. but it does add
an appreciable maintenance burden so emsource --machine is only for
limited usage, IMHO.

(Concentrate on specific packages, not using emsource --machine to
restructure the entire package set.)

If this new functionality works, I think we could have emdebian-tools
1.0.0 in Debian by (or shortly after) Fosdem - at which point
development can slow down and I can concentrate on filing cross building
bugs in Debian. i.e. 1.x will be 'stable', hopefully.

It's the Debian bugs that are actually blocking progress on an
autobuilder for the target packages. I'm not sure how the imminent soft
freeze for Lenny is going to affect that - some of the packages that
still haven't applied the existing patches may well be hard frozen
before I can complete 0.9.x. If anyone has some spare time to do some
delayed-NMU's on old cross-building bugs before everyone gets busy with
0-day NMU's for Lenny ? (debian-mentors may well be willing to sponsor
such NMU's if appropriate.)

A little more testing and I'll upload 0.8.1 to Emdebian. If that looks
OK, I'll start on 0.9.0 which will look at solving the issues with
debootstrap unpacking on the device and implementing a way of unpacking
prior to creating the tarball and then only configuring on the device.
I'll also look at how emsandbox could create an image of the intended
filesystem (without .debs) on a USB key so that Emdebian can simply be
copied onto the device, configured and then rebooted straight into GPE.
My aim with this is to have an Emdebian root filesystem with GPE GUI
that can be installed onto a PDA from an SD card. Hopefully less than
30Mb compressed - with kernel - and around 50Mb installed.

With that kind of support in emdebian-tools, I think it'll justify a 1.0


Neil Williams

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