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[Freedombox-discuss] Report third hackfest

On 3/8/11 1:09 PM, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> That may speed up some kinds of development, yes.
> In my experience, esp. with Skolelinux and Sugarlabs, such creation of 
> an own distribution framework - even if intended to sync tightly with 
> another "real" distribution - ends up stealing too much time, focus, 
> and is thus more damage than good IMO.
Well, really, speeding up FreedomBox product development and considering 
new software not yet in Debian is the only reason I'd see for a 
FreedomBox-specific distro.

My ignorance shows here, since I've only ever been a Debian user and 
never developed a package. Maybe the way I should really consider 
"FreedomBox" is as just a Debian preseed for a plug computer.
> It is no doubt great fun and a good learning experience to try setup 
> and maintain a distribution - just mind you that this is what it is!
Yeah, I'm all for learning experiences, but not in this case. I think 
learning how Debian does things would be better for me. :)
> I strongly, very very strongly, recommend to use Debian: get all code 
> packaged rather than seek ways to circumvent that,
I think I'm just unclear on the term "packaged"?sounds like more than 
just producing a .deb.
> Feel free to play with upstream code e.g. to figure out it suitable at 
> all to waste any more time on packaging and integrating with 
> FreedomBox, but throw away such premature testing - don't try 
> encapsulate it at stuff it into FreedomBox - that is A Bad Way!
That's really what I'm after here: A way to play with upstream code and 
get it into installable packages if/when it looks like a good addition 
to FreedomBox.

But, I think what you're saying is: If it's a good addition for 
FreedomBox that's not in Debian already, get it into Debian. A special 
case distro for FreedomBox is just asking for trouble.
> Congratulations!
> I was wondering when someone used my own praching against me. You did 
> it! :-)
Well, I'm not looking to catch you out on anything or make work for you! 
I'm just an over-enthusiastic newb, here.
> Yes, I totally agree: WebID needs to be packaged too before it is 
> sensible to consider it concretely for inclusion into FreedomBox.
So, by "packaged", you mean accepted as part of Debian proper? (As 
opposed to .deb's sitting in some random guy's repository?)
> So all in all this is very much a good demonstration of how things are 
> _not_ ready when they themselves are ready.
> Similarly I will expect Pagekite and all other wonderful yet 
> unpackaged technologies to take _more_ time to be usable for 
> FreedomBox even _after_ being production quality as upstream projects 
> and _after_ being officially packaged into Debian.
So, a piece of software could be production quality in isolation. But, 
once it's wrapped up in a .deb, it has to be tested alongside the rest 
of Debian and found not to break anything before it's brought into the 
official Debian fold. Do I have that right?
> To me Debian is the distro, not FreedomBox.
> To me FreedomBox is a distro-without-own-infrastructure-as-such - i.e. 
> a Debian Pure Blend. We have plenty of challenges already dealing with 
> issues specific to FreedomBox - we should *not* also take upon us the 
> issues generic to all distros.
Fair enough. Plenty to do already, without reinventing the wheel.
> It just seems from conversations on this list that people insist on 
> hacking without waiting for Debian packaging. So I try describe how 
> that, even if easier and faster at first, hurts long-term.
Well, I guess that's where the friction is.

There is / will be software that could be very useful for FreedomBox, 
but is new with respect to Debian. If it takes years to get that 
software into Debian, and subsequently into FreedomBox, that seems 
problematic for the notion of moving fast on FreedomBox.
> But heck - I am biased, being a Debian Developer. So it might be that 
> those wanting to bypass Debian with their pet projects do not concider 
> my opinion relevant either :-P
I think the pet projects are things that might be novel solutions to the 
issues FreedomBox is meant to address. Maybe some of them are way too 
experimental, and better addressed using packages already in Debian.

l.m.orchard at pobox.com
{web,mad,computer} scientist

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