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Re: RFS: Folding@home

Nick Lewycky <nicholas@mxc.ca> schrieb:

> Package name : folding
> Version      : 4.00
> Upstream     : http://folding.stanford.edu
> URL          : http://wagon.dhs.org/folding/
> Description  : Folding@home Client (install package)
> WNPP bug     : http://bugs.debian.org/261257

Some further remarks:

- Why is the version 4.00? If this is the version of the upstream
  software, I would rather name the package folding@home4-installer, or
  - if it doesn't matter - omit this version completely, and just give
  it its own versioning. 

- there's a superfluous templates.pot in the top-level directory

- I'm not sure, but is it common practice to put installer packages for
  non-free software into contrib? 

- debian/copyright: You HAVE TO have a copyright statement for the code
  that you wrote in the installer package, and it has to be have
  DFSG-free license to be able to go into contrib or main. It's probably
  a good idea to also include upstreams license, but NOT in the
  copyright file of your package.

- you should remove commented lines and unnecessary targets from

- your postinst seems to write into files "client.cfg" in the current
  directory. This is bad - there might be other files there with the
  same name. Later you repeat it in /var/lib/folding - why the

- the stale links in /var/log seem odd.

- It seems that the main work of the package is done in the postinst. I
  would suggest that you put this into a separate script, with the
  option to call it from postinst, or to delay that to a later
  timepoint. If this is included in Debian, people will chose it in
  their first big "Ah, now let's look what cool packages are on those
  disks" install run, and then it's annoying to see the modem dialling
  in postinst to get that file, while in fact you are eager to test all
  the cool stuff you just selected. And there may be no network
  connection at all during installation. 

- the postinst calls /etc/init.d/folding restart before the user is
  created (reconfigure may be called after the user account has been
  accidently deleted!). That will either not work, or have unexpected

- I doubt that "folding" is a good name for the user. The name may be in
  use for a local user who owns group-public protein folding data.

- please see the recent thread here in the group about
  name-group-separators for chown.

- the #DEBHELPER# entry inside an if-statement seems to be wrong. Oh, I
  see, you repeat it later. Hm. still it seems odd.

- You REALLY shouldn't let the postinst fail if the download
  fails. Nobody will be able to fix and finish the installation (of your
  and other packages) if the internet connection, or maybe just the
  proxy is down. 

- there's no documentation. At least you should try to (get permission
  to) include the command line options in

I would advice not to make a Debian-native package of this. It's quite
simple, and it can as well be used on an rpm-based distribution, without
modification of the main script (postinst) - therefore other
distributions might re-use it. 

Furthermore, I think that an installer package is only really useful if
it creates a Debian package out of the downloaded stuff - that's the
whole point of a package managment. Although, I admit, I cannot
currently imagine a program that would want to depend on folding@home. 

One other question: The following text on the website makes me think
that your md5sum check will always fail:

| Each different running copy of F@H has to have its own Machine ID
| number. If you download each copy of F@H from the web site and install
| fresh, there will be no problems.

Have you checked (without a proxy)?

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster, Biozentrum der Univ. Basel
Abt. Biophysikalische Chemie

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