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Brief summary of live-build and live-wrapper development status

Hi Boström,

I'm copying this personal assessment of where we stand with respect to live-build and live-wrapper development back to the mailing list, as I think it's generally of interest to all readers.

On 25/02/16 08:11 AM, Boström Kacper wrote:

First I would like to thank you for taking the time to write a thoughtful and lengthy reply.

You're welcome.

When you say that live-build has been orphaned does that mean it lacks a maintainer?

Yes. Please read the recent conversations on the mailing list about this in the debian-live mailing list archive.

You were talking about live-wrapper is that the new and supported Debian-live way of making a live CD? Is live-build being phased out?

Yes, but I should qualify that. The Debian CD team has said that the live-wrapper package will be the supported way to build official Debian Live CDs when it is complete. At that time, live-build will no longer be used for that purpose. So, even though orphaned, we're obliged to continue to support live-build for the time being, not the least reasons for which is out of duty to our users who have come to depend on it, and for whom we do not yet have a released replacement, and because problems with it could break our official Live CDs.

I would further comment that it is orphaned not because the Debian Live team wished it so, but because the former live-build upstream maintainer gave up the package, making it no longer possible to maintain it properly within Debian, except to patch it for as long as it seems to still be needed and we have the resources to keep doing so.

So, where does that leave us, in brief?

1. The live-build package is orphaned due to no longer having an upstream maintainer.

2. The live-wrapper package is the planned replacement, but is not yet production-ready.***

3. If you're building production live images today, continue to use live-build.

4. The Debian Live team will keep live-build alive and in the archive, with or without an upstream, for as long as it takes to deploy live-wrapper as a replacement for its official CDs.

5. After live-wrapper finally replaces live-build, live-build's long-term survival depends on you, the users and developers who wish it to continue. Join in the conversations currently in progress on the mailing list about this if you want to help!

*** My best guess is that the replacement of live-build with live-wrapper for official CDs will be completed in time for the Debian Stretch release. But this is still just guesswork, and depends on factors over which I have no direct influence.

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