[Freedombox-discuss] Report third hackfest
On Mon, Mar 07, 2011 at 11:35:53AM +0100, Michiel de Jong wrote:
>- We tested installing the WebID debian package, which lead to
>generation of partial install instruction - up to the point where we
>couldn't get it to work, and sent a request for help to the foaf
I saw later (due to my [interruption]) that you'd discussed how Clint
and I had added those new WebID packages to Debian unstable (Sid)
rather than Debian stable (Squeeze), and wondered if unstable is now
what FreedomBox is gonna be build upon?
Yes and no.
We are working towards creating FreedomBox. The real physical thing
that's gonna save the World from the Dark Side. The final product might
come in multiple shapes and might even be multiple completely different
things altogether - or it might end in a single final design. Time (and
our style of participation) will tell.
It is obvious to me, however, that there won't be one revision of
FreedomBox - multiflavored or not. There will be corrections, security
updates, and feature updates. And before all that there will be
development drafts not at all usable for consumption by our target
Yes, it makes sense at the current stage to develop with Sid - when you
want to work on things unstable. And yes, it makes sense to develop
using Squeeze when your interest is not in exploring new stuff but put
together stable parts.
If you want a FreedomBox production-ready in a month, then don't use
Sid. And don't use Pagekite or NetSukuku or WebID or P2PSIP or P2P-DNS.
Avoid _all_ the new cool stuff - use _only_ boring oldschool stuff!
Personally I believe that Semantic Web, and graphing math applied to it,
was the key to the success of Google and Facebook, and can be the key to
the success of decentralized tools as well. So I spend/waste time on
what I believe to be "the next cool thing" - WebID. And I contribute
the way I am good at: by packaging already invented and already coded
pieces for Debian, and have it included into Debian officially.
New stuff cannot ever be added officially to Debian stable (Squeeze).
"New stuff" is always unstable - not in itself (then it shouldn't even
be targeted Sid but the "experimental" branch!) but its integration and
interaction with the other 30.000 packages is ustable: as a whole
_distribution_ it is unstable when containing new parts.
I also, unofficially, provide packages targeted Debian stable. That
takes more time, so sunday I didn't have them ready. Even when I do, I
am 1 (one) Debian Debeloper, not a thousand, so claiming that the
combination "Debian stable (Squeeze)" and "a few new packages by Jonas"
put together is a stable mixture would be foolish: it is "almost stable"
We have lots tasks ahead of us - many more than mentioned here! Above I
spoke first about "imaging" and then about my "packaging". Let me got
back to "imaging" again:
You can try put a system together *today* containing WebID. That will
be a system built from an _unstable_ distribution with _unofficial_
parts. Which means highly risky to release to others due to e.g. no
guaranteed upgrade path or security bugfixes provided.
You can try put a system together *tomorrow* containing WebID. That
will be a system built from an _stable_ distribution with _unofficial_
parts. Which means somewhat risky to release to others, because key
parts only potentially has upgrade path and security bugfixes provided.
You can try put a system together *today* containing Pagekite or
NetSukuku or [your favorite tool here]. That will be a system built
from (possibly a stable) distribution with _non-packaged_ parts. Again
risky to release to others because all or some parts lac upgrade path
and security bugfixes. Also more difficult for peer Freedom fighters
(and possibly difficult for yourself too) to reliably replicate (i.e.
not copy result but mimic the process) due to those non-packaged parts.
Finally you can try put a system together *today* from only Debian
stable (Squeeze). That will be a system built from an _stable_
distribution. Which means sensible to release to others, because all
parts has upgrade path and a dedicated team provides security bugfixes.
Obviously just making an image of Debian stable is too crude to senisbly
call a FreedomBox 1.0. Lots of _other_ tasks you can do *today* other
than imaging - this was just reflections on Sunday work on WebID.
...or you can wait for Godot. Or Eben. Or a pile of money. Maybe the
World is easier to fix tomorrow :-P
[interruption]: I was away from the keyboard, as my [step-daughter] had
a task for school on writing a newspaper-style article. She made an
interview on me starting at "What's wrong with Facebook? Nah, we all
know that it sucks. You guys are doing something to attack it, right?
What's up with that?" and when her cellphone voice recorder timed out
after an hour, I was trying to point out how WebID and Semantic Web
could be a key stepping stone in the Singularity. She is fourteen.
[step-daughter]: ...or as the politically correct term is in denmark
these days: bonus daughter :-)
* Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
* Tlf.: +45 40843136 Website: http://dr.jones.dk/
[x] quote me freely [ ] ask before reusing [ ] keep private
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