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Call for help on mentors.debian.net/debexpo

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Dear list,

I've been running mentors.debian.net for quite some years now. The
software running the repository including importers, user handling,
package checks and IRC bot has been a custom thing right from the start
[1]. It's now already the third version of the software but still in
certain areas it's not very fault-tolerant.

So last year (2008) after a project proposal I mentored Jonny Lamb as a
Google Summer of Code student working on a web application that would be
useful both as a personal repository (what Ubuntu calls "PPA" = personal
package archive) but still extendable enough to suit the needs of
mentors.debian.net. It is called "debexpo" and its project page is
available at http://debexpo.workaround.org/

As usual with software projects the last lines were coded hours before
the deadline so it was sufficiently done for Google but not tested by
the audience due to lack of time. That said even after a year of
finishing the project it has still not replaced mentors.debian.net and
meanwhile everybody who initially showed interest has lost that because
patches were accepted slowly and the software wasn't perfectly  documented.

- From the feedback I get and the number of packages uploaded I'd say that
mentors.debian.net is worth being kept alive. This is where I need some
help. Fixing the current code is not what I want. Instead I would like
to get some help with "debexpo". Anybody who knows about Python and
Debian source packages and perhaps even the "Pylons" web framework is
invited to take a look and help. I will try to revive the project again
but perhaps with more helping hands it can be done faster and with
better ideas. Even for package maintainers who wish to host their own
private repositories "debexpo" will be a cool thing.

Please join the mailing list
(http://workaround.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/debexpo-devel) if you
are interested.

Everyone else: don't worry - mentors.debian.net will be kept running. :)

Kind regards

Footnote [1]:
 I was called stupid why I didn't just use the "dak" software that is
 also used to run the official repositories but it seemed far less
 magic to reinvent the wheel then to dash through other people's
 barely documented code. "dak" was (and probably still is) way less
 user-friendly than I intended mentors.debian.net to be.

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