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Re: Having trouble with newt

On Sun, 2008-03-23 at 18:23 +0000, David Goodenough wrote:
> Sorry to keep harking back to OpenWrt, but their way of doing this is
> to have a file per package which says which version the patches apply
> to
> (and where to get the original).  Given that Debian keeps old versions
> around can we not take the same approach?  I realise that we then have
> to keep on upgrading the control file, but surely that is better than
> continually breaking things.  Just a thought.

Debian's system is a rolling update in Sid, staggered migration into
testing and specialised migration into stable.

Emdebian (being Debian only smaller) is intending to follow the same
pattern. Unfortunately, to do this properly, we need to have an
autobuilder that can cross build (or try to cross build) every version
of the relevant packages as they are updated in unstable, track Debian
testing via Britney (the script that does the testing migration) and
then take advantage of the pre-release freezes in Debian in preparation
for the Debian release to also make an Emdebian release.

How I expect to do this for Emdebian Lenny is:
1. As each freeze is implemented, bring Emdebian unstable into direct
version match with Debian unstable. (There's only a soft freeze right
now and I've been busy with upstream work.)
2. Once all those are done, migrate target packages into Emdebian
testing for the first time, in line with Debian Britney. At this stage,
an svn-tag can be used to indicate the state of the emdebian patch files
at the point of migration. (That's why each package trunk also
has ../branches ../tags). Tagging will be manual initially. The same
tags can be used, unchanged, for the stable releases. Tags provide a
base point for a branch, should that version need an update.
3. By the time Debian has sorted out all the RC bugs in their 20,000
packages, I think we can sort out our cross building patches for our 200
source packages.

Once we have Emdebian Lenny (which cannot be before Debian Lenny), it
will make it easier for everyone because emdebian-rootfs could allow
selection of Emdebian Lenny or Emdebian testing (Wheezy) to get a more
stable package set. Updating Emdebian Wheezy would still be a manual
process but it should relieve the pressure for packages that are known
to crossbuild. Yes, that does mean that the first stable release of
Emdebian is likely to be Emdebian 5.0 but that is just a factor of how
long it has taken to get Emdebian to that state.

Without the same barriers to uploading to Debian stable, Emdebian can
then make critical updates to packages in Emdebian stable and Emdebian
testing whilst retaining the vast majority of uploads into Emdebian
unstable, via the svn-tags and branches as above.

Emdebian is aimed at more than OpenWRT - we want to support a wider
range of devices, including devices that are almost capable of running
unchanged Debian but could do more with a slimmer Debian. Effectively
filling the gap between standard Debian and OpenWRT.


Neil Williams

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