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Re: vrweb, newbie maintainer/developer

let me know if these mails are overloading the rest of you mentor
subscribers, i'm not sure what emails should be send private or public

On Sun, 26 Sep 1999, Fabien Ninoles wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 24, 1999 at 02:16:54PM +0800, Paul Harris wrote:

> > done it all! that dpkg-bui... thing is pretty cool :) 
> And you not even try cvs-buildpackage and dbuild. Those ones are even
> cooler!

hmmmm obviously for packages under heavier development...
> > 
> > i have a fresh question tho: do i have the right to rewrite/correct
> > spelling mistakes in README.Debian even tho i didn't originally debianise
> > vrweb? just some minor corrections... 
> Sure, go for it! English is only my second language. I'm French. Either,
> it'll be your package now, so, do whatever you like.

ok but i was curious: the only thing i can't change is the copyright? it
should have your name on it always right (debianized by: ____)

> > oh and also, when vrweb is installed, is netscape supposed to
> > automatically know to use vrweb to open .wrl files? mine doesn't :( tho
> > lynx does :)
> netscape has their own mime-type association. You have to install
> plugger to have it use the system default.
> >  
> > > Be sure also to send the patches to upstream!
> > 
> > ok, i'll do that after you have checked them :)
> Right. Be aware that they considered VRweb mostly orphaned. They push
> all their development effort on VRwave currently. No new version for
> almost two years so...

yeah, thats why i won't bother helping with the Harmony transition...
seems like a lot of work for a VRML viewer!

> > 
> > > The diff dpkg-source wait for is one produce by the build process (is
> > > not a custom one except that the paths are fixed). Just apply them manually
> > > and update the debian/changelog file appropriately using dch or the
> > > debbian-changelog mode of emacs.
> > 
> > i had problems there, but i can't recall what now as i worked around them.
> If you can now build a valid debian source package, it's ok.
> >  
> > > You should install debian-policy & packaging-manual and read the Developper
> > > Corner of the web pages.
> > 
> > i would have liked an idiot-proof howto / stepbystep guide to making /
> > changing a package (would make debian more accessible to new developers).
> > the docs were clear on the 5th time around, but a tutorial doc would be
> > nice.
> They're no really straight way to do a package. They're too much exceptions.
> Personnaly, I find the uses of the debhelper scripts quite useful to stay
> update with the Policy. The Debian New-Maintainer Guide and the Howto Create
> a Debian Package are quite good at this. Do you read them? If yes, which
> difficulty do you encounter regarding vrweb? 
> Note: vrweb was my first package and pre-date the debhelper scripts.
> That can be confusing at first since everything is done by hand.

there were times where i would wish that the new-maintainer or developer
docs would cover more stuff, from simple stuff like: who do i contact? i
had to be pointed to the debian-mentors list by a developer... i don't
think there is any mention of them in the new-maintainers doc.
.. to come complex stuff like "what happens when a debian helper won't
work, or what to do when stuff like the wrong type of whitespace in
changelog won't let the package build, or what to do when the examples
docs won't install (because they need to be in the examples dir, which is
installed with the docs file but they don't mention that it installs stuff
relative to the bottom path, what do you do when you want another path
installed by make it look like it was in the parent dir?)

phew that was just something off the top of my head, but i hope you get
the picture. i should have written down what my problems were so i could
be more specific, but i just played with it until it worked... i kinda
wish linux was more idiot proof so i didn't have to know programs inside
out to get things to work :/

> Please, do so. I have trouble contacting the web site you put in
> another mail.

stupid uni computers. _always_ have problems :/

> > 
> > > > - How do I wack it on the debian mirror and all that?
> > > 
> > > dupload do the work when you're a maintainer.
> > 
> > cool. i'll leave that to you
> OK. I'll have to put my name under it however because it's my PGP
> signature who'll be checked. When you'll get your account as a maintainer,
> you can upload a new version with the right maintainer on it. [It'll be
> not too big cause only the patch, dsc and changes need to be upload, the
> original source files doesn't because it doesn't change.]

ok. can you please make the changes? this is where the scripts gave me

> > 
> > > The bug seems to be fixes. In the changelog entry, add a 'Closes: #29078'
> > > anywhere. The bug will be automatically closed when the package will be
> > > uploaded.
> > 
> > vrweb (1.5-3) unstable; urgency=low
> > 
> >   * Fixed Imakefiles and source code. (Closes: #23539, #29078, #39580)
> >   * Change maintainer
> >   * Changed it to use update-mime. (Closes: #28866)
> > 
> >  -- Paul Harris <harri-pc@ee.uwa.edu.au>  Thu, 23 Sep 1999 04:32:51 +0800
> > 
> > how does that look? will all three be automatically closed? does it matter
> > if a change runs over one line? can i put 3 bug closures together like
> > that?
> Right! That's exactly how it works. I'll have to change the maintainer
> name but be sure I give you all the credits!

cool :)

> > > First, please, read the FM and web pages. A new, non-official procedure
> > > to help reducing the load of new-maintainer is to be sponsored by a current
> > > maintainer. I'm willing and will be happy to do this for you :) Please,
> > > read a little more and the contact me for any question. I'll contact you
> > > again if you have any other questions.
> > 
> > great :) i'm happy to be your sponsee :) i think i got everything right...
> > i'm trying for policy- but am unsure if i got everything ok... i
> > think so.
> I'll check that as soon as I have your patches. Maybe I'll make few
> changes to use the debhelper scripts. My other packages used them and
> I only have to recompile them with the new scripts and reupload everything.
> A real economy of my spare time ;)

i think i did use the debhelper scripts. i was having problems so i redid
all the files with the help of some scripts, although which ever one makes
changes to the changelog file stuffed up.

> > > Also, the sponsor help to speed up things by verifying the new package
> > > and uploading it himself in the name of the new maintainer (you have
> > > to be a maintainer to upload a package). So, can you send me your patches
> > > that I can check them? I can even upload it before you get your account
> > > if it's your desire.
> > 
> > i'll send them once i figure out this gpg thing, i'd like to get at least
> > one person to sign my key. also, do you know what keyserver i'm supposed
> > to upload my public key to?
> You have to send it to the new maintainer when it'll be sign by Dave.

i still haven't heard from Dave.

> > 
> > i'm just going to wait and see if i can meet with Dave Cook for him to
> > sign my fresh gpg key (he's in perth somewhere nearby).
> Send it to me right after you make it sign by Dave. I will send it
> to new-maintainer@debian.org with my recommendations. However, here
> also some questions about your application. It's easy questions and
> don't need strong answer. (I mean, Debian doesn't need you to be a
> full activist of the OpenSource/FreeSoftware movement. Just that you
> understand that's it's one of our goal and that you'll be part of it.
> Debian is not a political movement, just an organization build under
> the OpenSource philosophy.) I hope to don't seem too much
> "authorative" but it's real hard when it's not even your first
> language.

haha, i'm glad its not written in French! i would have no clue!

> So, first, have you read the Debian Social Contract (if not, do it ;)?
> Do you understand it? What do you think about it? I'll be please to
> answer any questions about it.
yes and i agree with it.

> What's your future goals with Debian? Do you want to participate
> more actively to Debian, push up more packages or simply maintain
> your current package?

i want to improve debian by "expecting only what I put in", or
contributing. I needed vrweb for a project and didn't work. So I fixed it.
I love that "feature" of Linux and have become the maintainer because I
feel I can do the job. I probably won't use vrweb much, but my goal with
vrweb is to keep it working... i don't forsee another release of vrweb

now, i am looking for more packages to support. i won't support a package
for the sake of being a maintainer, i have to use the program. 

I am currently looking at xldlas, a statistics program that may be removed
soon because of license problems (i'll talk to -devel about that). i saw
it on the orphaned list, checked it out and found it useful for my future
project :) i also want to fix those segfaults that occasionally pop up.

> What I really want here is to present you
> the opportunities of Debian. Working for Debian isn't just packaging
> some cool software. It can be really more than that, and most of the
> stuff is even more exciting than package maintenance.

i'd like to get involved with that stuff, but i think i'll slowly increase
my involvement rather than dive-bombing the rest of you in the deep end of
development (so to speak).

> I also want you
> to know that your job as a package maintainer isn't finish when you
> upload your package. You have to support it after that (that's where
> I failed with vrweb :( ).

i figure a package like vrweb won't take too much support from now on
anyway. i'll be able to handle it.

> That's mean following at least the
> debian-devel-announce mailing list (really low volume), update your
> package when new version on the dependencies appears, answer to
> bugs reports, give some (limited) support to users who ask you,
> and ensure that your package still follow the current Policy.

to answer thos:
- have been following -devel for the last month.
- will check the web page from time to time for new version.
- bring on the bugs!
- will listen on the weekly news for those changes.

> Finally, one little warning: As a Debian Maintainer, you'll be
> given a new e-mail address @debian.org and some accounts on
> different machines around the world. Does machine and bandwidth
> are given by donators to Debian absolutely free of charge. Don't
> abuse those gifts and try to use it solely for Debian-related
> purposes. It's not mandatory but some maintainers have seen there
> rights as maintainer remove already in the past for such things
> and we don't want to be seen as a bunch of donators' abusers
> (sorry, can explain it more clearly).

i hope to use the @debian.org to get a job, especially while i'm in
transition from university to home to university to working-world. if i do
use it, it'll be _really_ low volume, as a backup email address so i can
then tell people my new/current email address.

> Voila!

looks like we are done :)

"If you can't make it good, make it look good."
				Bill Gates, 1995 

Debian GNU/Linux: We make good, and we make it look good.

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