Re: Suggestions On Getting A Sponsor
Thanks for your response. I appreciate the time you took to write out
the email. Even a critical response is very valuable. I would like to
address some of the points you made.
I do agree that the support of web apps is not perfect at the moment.
The virtual host problem is probably one of the biggest blemishes on the
whole affair since there does not seem to be a good way to automate the
selection and installation of the web app in a particular virtual host.
I also agree with some of the other points you made about the maturity
of the web apps themselves.
Plenty of web apps do not separate configuration from presentation at
all which tends to make maintenance a nightmare. Streamline however has
only 1 configuration file which has about 5 lines in it that set up the
connection to a database back end. So I have tried to address that
issue because I have run into that with other packages and found it
dissatisfying as well. As far as the web app only being supported on a
handful of servers, that should be taken care of by the package
dependencies. There is plenty of packages in Debian that rely on
certain other packages. I don't see how this is different.
Certainly some people think that web apps should be packages. I know
there are plenty of highly useful and popular packages for web apps in
Debian right now. IMP, Gallery, PHPMyAdmin, LDAPExplorer to name a
few. While maybe not as polished as some other packages, they work very
well and provide a valuable service to the Debian community. If there
are policy violations that keep these packages from operating cleaning
within the Debian distribution then they should be marked as bugs and
they should be kept out of stable, but merely not packaging them does
not encourage, the maintainers to make the packages more stable, the
upstream authors to make the apps more mature, or the Debian people to
tackle some of the issue you bring up about it's web app infrastructure.
It might be easy to think that people can simply install the web apps
from source and configure them outside of the Debian packaging system.
Most upstream sources are meant to be installed from tar balls so in
theory this would work. The problem is that a lot of Debian users like
the packaging system so much, they are leery of installing anything that
is not packaged, since there is no dependency handing, no automated
upgrades, etc. So in a large way, not packaging web apps stifles they
use of web apps on Debian (even if only as a side affect).
Lastly, in regards to your disdain for a "Streaming protocol on top of
HTTP written in PHP"; Streamline does not make or use a streaming
protocol on top of HTTP. HTTP is the streaming protocol. Most modern
media players, XMMS, Helix, Winamp, etc support streaming media over
HTTP. Technically you are correct streamline is not a "Server". Apache
or whatever web server you are using is the real server. Streaming
merely manages the requests for media and sets up the appropriate http
headers to allow the media to be streamed back to a client in a useful
manner that the web server itself would be unable to do alone.
It's possible that a better description of the role that Streamline
plays in the serving of media could be better worded as to avoid
confusion. However, detailing exactly what the web server is doing and
what the web app is doing doesn't seem like it is appropriate for the
description of the package. Possibly there is a happy medium. I am
glad you brought this particular detail to my attention though since it
had never crossed my mind.
Again thanks for your response. If you have further comments I am
always open to hear them.
Steve Langasek wrote:
On Mon, Sep 27, 2004 at 03:01:02PM -0400, Michael MacFadden wrote:
I posted several messages to this list earlier this month about getting
my package sponsored. Lots of people gave me great suggestions on how
to improve the packing and other general ideas. However no one seemed
interested in uploading the package. I have been monitoring this for
for a month now and it looks like other people might be having a similar
experience. Is there a better resource for actually finding some one to
upload a package.
I'm not likely to be sponsoring many package uploads at all these days,
except for specific software I already use and need, but I offer you my
observations as they may be applicable to others' motives as well in
deciding what to sponsor or not sponsor.
Frankly, my initial reaction to your RFS was one of repulsion, for
It's not universally agreed that web apps should be packaged.
Packaging of web apps tends to be coarser than that of other
applications, due to poor or non-existent virtual host support; poor
integration with all but a handful of available webservers; and poor
separation of code from configuration in web apps, resulting in
excessive numbers of "config files". Some of these problems can be
fixed by developing more mature infrastructure for webapps in Debian;
others require the webapps themselves to mature. Either way, it's a
turn-off for many developers to know the sponsored package would never
be up to normal standards of package quality.
You also described this package as a "streaming media server":
Depends: apache | apache-ssl | apache-perl | apache2, php4 | php4-cgi |
Suggests: php4-mysql, php4-pqsql
Description: a web-based streaming media server written in php4
Streamline is an web-base on-demand streaming media server. It allows
users remotely browse their media library and choose what media they
would like to stream. Streamline has a robust web-base administrative
interface which allows users to configure every aspect of the server.
Streamline supports visual themes which allow users to customize the
server to match the scheme of their existing web site.
In my mind, the term "streaming media server" refers to tools such as
HelixServer and QTSS. HTTP is not a streaming media protocol. Trying
to implement a streaming media protocol on top of HTTP is broken; trying
to implement a streaming media protocol on top of HTTP *in PHP* smacks
of dementia. Perhaps, if this is not what you had in mind, the
description could be changed to not give this impression and frighten
I don't know if these comments will actually help you find a sponsor,
but I hope they at least give you some insight into why you haven't
found one so far.