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Re: live-wrapper - RFE - Arch boot automatic detection

These opinions are my own and do not represent an official statement by
Debian or any of its subprojects.

On 18/11/15 08:52 PM, Michael . wrote:
> With regards to a couple of points you have made in this, and your
> previous, post nothing about Live Build is clear anymore. Actually
> that is incorrect, the only thing that is clear is Daniel has given up
> with it as a Debian project and as the lead developer it seems Live
> Build as a Debian project is discontinued (remember we were told it
> was deprecated).

Upstream gave up on the project. This is not unique in the software in
Debian. Upstreams give up all the time, for various reasons. And there
doesn't need to be confusion about it. The abandoned software remains in
Debian, and if someone doesn't step up to take it over, it eventually
goes to Debian QA. If someone does take it over, as often happens with
software that is useful for which there is no alternative, then
hopefully it continues to live on in Debian indefinitely under new

It's too early yet to know what's happening with it in the longer term.
I think that in a large part depends on the user/developer community's
response to it (i.e. which software they favour with their attention),
and not at all with what Debian does or does not endorse. If development
on live-wrapper is swift, and it gains a following and rapidly becomes
feature complete, it may quickly overtake live-build and come to be
preferred by the community. If it is slow, live-build may dominate for a
while longer. But I cannot possibly predict at this stage which way it
will go.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record ... people are still acting
as though live-build will be imminently removed from Debian or will
suddenly lose support, neither of which are true. There's no reason at
this time to remove it. It is in decent shape, and a significant pool of
developers and users remain who know enough about it that it will for
the time being continue to be supported.

> Your Previous post on the issue of Live build mentioned something
> about people taking Live Build on, has this happened? Are you,
> personally, keeping Live Build going?

I'm not taking a technical leadership role. However, I'm continuing in a
support role for as long as it looks like that is in Debian's best
interest. I have a fair bit of experience with it and try to assist
whenever I can.

> The splitting of the resource pool had happened well before anyone in
> Live Build (thats what the available evidence suggests) or its user
> community new anything about it. Debian CD split the pool of resources
> by making their own project (which they are entitled to do) and not
> assisting Live Build (which they are also entitled to do).

From what I could see, Debian CD made every effort to assist Debian Live
before striking off on their own. They reported problems and provided
patches (some of which, like the UEFI one, were rejected, and no
alternative solution provided for a very, very long time). So I don't
think it's fair to say they "split the resource pool". That could only
be true if they actively pulled the existing Debian Live developers off
the project. That's not what happened. They are now *adding to* what
we've built with live-wrapper, as I understand it using live-boot and
live-config at the core, bringing to the table their own resources, to
try to help Debian (you know, the *whole* project, not two autonomous
projects Debian Live and Debian CD with opposing goals and interests)
have sane, non-fragile official live CD builds. I think that's an
excellent goal, and therefore am in support of their efforts. It's a
more inclusive process than you have portrayed it, which is why I'm
counseling unity here and not divisiveness.

> The discussions in coming months are a rather mute point now aren't
> they? What has happened has happened, what has been said has been
> said, and the users of Live Build are caught in the middle and are
> going to have to either wait for someone to fill them in or move to
> using Live Wrapper (which isn't really usable at the moment). My point
> here is this process of discussions over the coming months really
> needs to be quicker.

So your answer to moving those discussions quicker is to push the
live-wrapper developers away where they won't bother you?

> It is unfair to people who depend on these tools to let this drag on.
> I'm simply not willing to start releasing iso images for a stable
> system for the South Pacific when the tool I've been building it on
> and getting people to test it with is in a state of limbo and the tool
> that is supposed to replace it isn't usable.

To let what drag on? live-build does what it does the same way that it
did last month. It has excellent documentation (if I do say so myself,
having contributed in a large degree to it), and Debian has a process of
NMUs that allows it to continue receiving patches as needed. People are
continuing to help with problems here on the mailing list, and people
are continuing to help on irc. What, exactly, is the problem with this
situation? You can continue to build images and projects based on
live-build until whenever *you* decide it isn't working well for you and
you want to switch to something else.

> If Live Build lives on then great, if it doesn't then so be it. One
> day someone in the Debian project will provide some clear statements
> as to what is going on and then downstream projects like mine and many
> others can get on with their work without wondering if we can keep
> using the tool we have taken time to learn how to use or if we have to
> switch to another "live" tool and then learn new things.

Sorry, I just don't see the need for this. I don't see Debian making
"statements" in other cases where upstreams have given up and Debian has
moved on. At least not unless it's a fairly big piece of infrastructure
with broad impact on the project and a clarifying statement really is
necessary (like libc6). I don't think that's the case in this situation.
I rather think it will work out organically instead, from the people
doing the work from here on to improve the toolset, and will not be
something that comes down as a decree from the top.

> Until we actually hear something definitive my project is officially
> on hold. The 2 "disjoint groups", as you called them, need to have
> these discussions and get to work sooner rather than later so the
> effects of this mess don't linger on. Please keep us informed.

What you officially do with your project is up to you. I think it's
pretty clear by your own statement that live-wrapper is not ready for
you to use, so you ought to continue using live-build for now. What real
blocker stands in your way of continuing to use it if it has been
working well for you?


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