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Re: Should we use the Ubuntu (or our own) PPA for unfinished packages?

Andreas Tille wrote:
> On Thu, 1 Jan 2009, Steffen Moeller wrote:
>> I became a fan of Morten's PPA, which apparently are little apt
>> repositories for single
>> developers.
> Hmm, could you please be a little bit more verbose than "little apt
> repositories"?
> I can not see any advantage over official apt repositories or the
> infrastructure
> we have at mentors.d.o.


Right. This is also what I though. And if Debian's BTS would also cover the packages  in
mentors, then we would be almost there. Though with mentors you only have one URL to add
to /etc/apt/sources.list. For the PPA you have a URL for every maintainer.

>> I'd like to see some PPA adapted for Debian med to
>> * increase awareness of the use of some packages that are not in popcon
> I don't think that popcon is the problem.  I think the problem is that
> those private repositories aare not on our radar of the Blend tools. This
> would be a strong reason against this approach IMHO.

Ah. This is not what I meant. Everything would stay the way it is now. What PPA does not
have is a link to SVN, which basically defines us. The PPA would be a place to download
packages and to collect bug reports that today go to our mailing list.

>> * render quite some packages available to less technical (more
>> biological/medical?) users
> IMHO good software deserves to become an official package.  I do not
> want to support bad quality software.  So what is the sense of PPA?
> Perhaps I'm missing something???

In Morten's case it is the packages for the Torque batch system that are newer than those
of his that are today shipping with Ubuntu. Since Torque has some stability issues, one
will not automagically upload to the very latest version. So, in a way a PPA could be
something that might have the chance to be too unstable for unstable.

The other thing that you might be missing (or I might be overstressing) is the limited
availability of time of ours. With so many groups coming up with so many pieces of
software, and every tool having its reason to exists (some remaining to just be historic
reasons against which newer versions are to be compared), there is more out there than we
can deal with properly, at least while there are other things we need to care about. There
is hence little point in perfectionising every little package that only few individuals
use. A repository outside the main Debian infrastructure might well keep some binary of
something that otherwise only exists as our debian folders.  Should some community around
that package step forward, then the packaging work will be completed. Otherwise, the
package will only be archived.

Sometimes it is not even the fault of the developer but just some upstream folks that
refuse to add copyright notices to their source code, which will then not get past the
ftpmaster. The getData script in our svn would be something that I would like in a PPA. It
is still too trivial to make much of a Debian package about it. But it has some good value
and some stronger visibility and easier installability would be good.

I think Debian needs some PPA kind of system. It is a nice way to have newbie developers
integrated with the system while minimising the harm that anyone could do. Mentors is
close, but it is not integrated with the rest of Debian, really. It should get linked with
 the BTS at least. I need to think a bit about what it means to have all our packages that
are not in the distribution uploaded to mentors. I would not mind, of course. Though we
would not RFS but RFH with that upload. I would not make much use of that resource,
though, since I don't like mentors in my sources.list (tried that). The personalised PA I



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