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Re: Correction to web site information: OpenMRS has debian packages available for download

On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 10:15:47PM -0500, Misha Koshelev wrote:
> Thank you again for the information.
> 1)
> It turns out we already have some deb packaging scripts:
> http://svn.openmrs.org/openmrs-contrib/install/packagemanagers/deb/

Thanks for the link.  I just had a look into it.  It seems you
need to have a look into


which explains how to build proper Debian packages.  The weak part
in your packaging is uncovered in the readme.txt:

  1) Put compiled openmrs.war into root of this project

In an (official) Debian package you need to compile the to be installed
result in the packaging process and the packaging process does usually
not need a manual call to dpkg-deb as you recommend in readme.txt.  The
packaging process is controlled by dpkg-buildpackage (there exist
several wrappers around i which can be used to simplify life) and a
proper debian/rules file containing debhelper calls to a first compile
and than install the target from source.
> 2) 
> I am looking into packaging OpenMRS for Debian Med, but first realize I
> have to _install_ Debian Med.

Not necessarily.  As Karsten pointed out in his mail Debian Med *is*
Debian.  So you can work with any Debian system to build your packages.
To do so you do not need to install any of the metapackages provided
by Debian Med.
> but did not actually find a quick guide as to how to _install_ debian
> med (my main distro is Ubuntu 10.04).

In this case you can even continue working with Ubuntu if you prefer.
The build process of Ubuntu packages is identical to Debian and if you
will manage to create a proper package building process under Ubuntu it
will most probably work nicely under Debian (perhaps some slightly
differentlynamed Build-Depends in rare cases, but we will sort out this
in case there might be a problem.
> Finally, I just decided to install Debian 5 and then install the
> debian-med? package.
> However, there does not seem to be such a single package:
> http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=med&searchon=names&suite=stable&section=all
> any help appreciated. I am sure new users would benefit as well.

That's strange.  I get a list of metapackages (amongst other packages
fitting the "med" sring) - but as I said above: To build Debian packages
you do not need to install these packages.
> 3)
> I noticed your packages are also provided in Ubuntu:
> https://launchpad.net/~debian-MED-packaging/+related-software
> is this done by
> a) Debian Med team manually?

No (at least I do not know about such an effort).

> b) Debian Med team automatically?

It would be interesting to know whether there is an automatic mechanism
to create Ubuntu package from Debian packages but the Debian Med team is
not involved explicitely in this.

> c) someone else entirely?

Most probably.  I guess there are some Ubuntu maintainers who fetch Debian
packages and build them under Ubuntu.

> In other words, would creating a Debian med package also result in a
> corresponding Ubuntu package, or would this be a separate process?

In any case it will make creating Ubuntu packages *really* simple and
following the philosophy to fix problems at the root you have the
advantage that a package in Debian makes life easy for all Debian
derivatives (not only Ubuntu).
> 4)
> A quickly philosophy question with packaging implications.
> OpenMRS, to my knowledge, works best with the Sun JDK (there is not a
> good link for this currently - best is
> http://wiki.openmrs.org/display/docs/Step+by+Step+Installation+for
> +Developers
> but does not mention Sun explicitly).
> I found sun-java6 packages for Debian.
> http://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=sun-java6&searchon=names&suite=stable&section=all
> I noticed they are labeled non-free.
> My understanding of Debian was always (perhaps incorrectly) that Debian
> believes in being a completely open-source system (vs, e.g., Ubuntu)
> Would making OpenMRS depend on non-free packages be unacceptable? 

It is not "unacceptable" but it would be *really* preferable to use
openjdk.  A package depending from a non-free package will move the
package in question into the "contrib" section (which is strictly
speaking no part of the official Debian distribution).  This results in
some implications which might or might not effect some nasty details
which I would not like to discuss in this thread.  In short:  It would
be a really good idea to raher use openjdk instead of sun-java6-jdk
if there is any chance that OpenMRS will run with this.  IMHO it is
also worth the effort to ask OpenMRS upstream authors to run and test
their code under OpenJDK to make sure not to relay on non-free code.

Kind regards and thanks for your interest in Debian Med



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