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Re: New GSoC project: APT<->dpkg communication rework


2016-03-17 10:42 Nicolas Dandrimont:
* David Kalnischkies <david@kalnischkies.de> [2016-03-16 13:42:58 +0100]:


I would like to propose the following project with me as student and
Michael Vogt as proforma mentor, but before officially applying want to
gather some opinions about me and applying for said project:

= Project: APT↔dpkg communication rework =
I was a GSoC student back in 2010 already with "MultiArch in APT" (for
Debian if you haven't guessed that much) which converted me from a semi-
regular contributor to one of the current main developers, so me
applying again would certainly fail the outreach aspect.

I am entertaining the idea of applying in the light of the "flip bits
instead of burgers" aspect through as I think that it would benefit
Debian greatly if someone could be convinced to invest a substantial
amount of time into it, but nobody had such an amount of free time
available and that is unlikely to change given the projects scope and
unappealing work involved, which I would declare (way) too big for
a newcomer to APT to have a realistic stab at – based also on previous
more limited projects the APT team had mentored in this area.

As said, I would like to ask for opinions about the sensibility of me
applying given this situation to avoid wasting time on both sides in
case a formal appliance is downright futile.

*dons GSoC admin hat*

If you're eligible to the program (which, if you're still a student, I believe
you are), it doesn't make sense to not consider your application, as GSoC isn't
restricted to new contributors (Outreachy is, however).

When and if we need to consider which strong applications to pick (for instance
if Google provides us with less slots than we have strong applicants for), then
we will need to put the merits of each individual application in the balance
(utility to Debian vs. outreach vs. quality of the application).

Please send in your application, and we'll cross that bridge when we get there,
shall we?

Nicolas Dandrimont

BOFH excuse #403:
Sysadmin didn't hear pager go off due to loud music from bar-room speakers.

(Writing in the case that external feedback is of any help.  If you
prefer to base the ranking of the projects based solely on the formal
application, please stop reading now :-) )


So FWIW, I think that it would be an incredibly good thing for Debian if
this project gets to be done.

It would be good for APT and dpkg in particular and the minimisation of
some class of problems when installing packages (which have been going
on for many years and can only get worse if some serious effort is not
dedicated to it).  But since this is one of the foundations of Debian
and all of the derivatives, the successful completion of this project
will be very positive not only for the tools involved, but for the
Debian ecosystem as a whole.

Given that David is probably the person on Earth who knows more about
this particular problem (or amongst a very "selected" few who have to
suffer knowing about this, for the benefit of the rest of us), and given
that he's been one of the main --if not the most-- active contributors
of APT in the last few years, I am sure that if somebody can complete
this project within the GSoC timeframe it would be him, and that if
there are things still to finish by the end of the GSoC timeframe, that
it would be completed in subsequent months.

Having the possibility of dedicated extended time to work on this is key
to tackle the problem, though, it's not something that can be done on
spare weekends.

So... if it's not clear enough yet, I fully support this application!

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo@gmail.com>

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