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[Popcon-developers] popcon & derivatives

On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 02:11:48PM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 8:09 PM, Bill Allombert wrote:
> > Is that the kind of issues you are concerned about ?
> I was thinking mostly about the ways in which Debian uses popcon
> information; the QA removals, package sorting on CDs and so on.

I would like to note that there is no consensus that using popcon data for QA
removals is a good idea. It is not a design goal of popcon, and I do not
want to appear encouraging it.

> > My position is that if you change the popularity-contest package,
> > then you have to change the version.
> There are ways to enable/disable popcon without altering the package;
> installing it by default (or not), preseeding the question about
> enabling it during install. Many derivatives are for primarily for
> preinstalled situations like government institutions, schools etc.

I think we should discriminate between custom distribution and derivatives.
They are different: two systems running the same custom distribution are 
generaly much more similar than two system running the same derivative.
Often the developement team of a custom distribution is also the sysadmin
of the systems running it.

> Do you think we should suggest to derivatives in general to install
> and enable popcon? I will add this advice to the derivatives
> guidelines, unless you want to do that yourself.

We should be careful that it is not misinterpreted as a license to abuse the
popcon system to get higher ranking.

It is hard to give general guidelines where there are some many difference, 
it should be decided on a case-by-case basis, but roughly:

_derivatives_ should follow the same rule for popcon than Debian itself, in particular
making sure the debconf template is displayed and the user can choose.

_custom distributions_ should decide for themselves whether thay want to report to
popcon, according to their own policy (in particular privacy policy).

An issue is that _custom distributions_ can generate 1000 nearly identical
reports. However it might still have some useful information in the "vote" field.

custom distributions should be careful to make sure the MY_HOSTID and the
day field in /etc/popularity-contest.conf is random and not identical on
all system.

> Do you think we should suggest that linGobEx people enable popcon on
> their install base, IIRC from my visit to Merida, Extremadura they
> have or plan to have several thousand installed machines, around 1000
> at the moment.

10000 systems is not going to overtax the popcon server. So they should
decide for themselves.


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