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Proposed transition plan for non-free and call for help

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This document describes a proposal for a transition plan for non-free.
Note that I thought about this for quite a while now and actually
planned to write this up before the beginning of the vote, but real-life
has kept me busy. This is *not* an attempt to provoke people to change
their minds in favor of dropping non-free and then drop this transition
once non-free is removed from debian.org. In fact, we might try to get
non-free.org running even no matter what the outcome of the general
resolution will be, provided maintainers are interested in moving their
packages there.

1. Call for help

While the implementation details have either been hashed out already or
are mostly a matter of taste, the most urgent need right now is for
people who would help with bringing it up.

We have already found a host for non-free.org, Daniel Stone has kindly
offered to provide a box and hosting for it.

Still, we need somebody (or a group) to admin non-free.org. We believe
this will not be such a great task, due to the small size of
non-free.org. I am willing to help out here at least for the beginning,
if the volunteer count is low.

Secondly, we need people helping to setup the services on non-free.org,
see below. This job would only require involvement for the intial setup
and thus a limited amount of time. Again, I am willing to help here, but
my experience with this kind of stuff is limited.

2. The proposed implementation for non-free.org.

Basically, there are two possibilities, a) using a GForge service and b)
reproducing the debian.org services, but in a less complex way, where

A. GForge. This seems to be the simplest solution for setting up and
maintaining. alioth.debian.org seems to be going quite well and does not
need a lot of manual attention. On the other hand, GForge might not be
very well suited for actually distributing the Debian packages. If
anybody knows whether/how this is possible, please let us know.

The other parts of the Debian services (mailing lists, bug/issue
tracking, co-maintainership) all seem to be very well covered by GForge,
as is demonstrated by the success of alioth.

B. Reproducing the debian.org services. What is mostly needed are the
Debian archive itself, the BTS, mailing-lists and the PTS.

 a) The archive. This has been taken care of already, as Daniel Stone's
    box already features a katie installation.

 b) The Bug Tracking System. Other projects (e.g. mutt) are using it,
    there is a package for it around, it should be rather easy to setup.
    The hard part would be to import the current bugs from non-free
    packages to the non-free.org BTS. One solution would be to copy the
    entire BTS and then removing archived bugs and the bugs for packages
    in main.

 c) The Package Tracking System. I talked to Raphael Hertzog about this
    a while ago. The code for the PTS is available and he told me that
    it should be possible to adopt it for something like non-free.org
    within an acceptable time frame. I'm not quite sure how hard it will
    be to transfer the current subscribers to non-free packages.

 d) Mailing Lists. This is a no-brainer. Probably, only a couple of
    administrative mailing-lists are needed. This can be done with
    mailman. No current data needs to be transferred that I would know

3. The Transition to non-free.org

This part should be independent from the choice of implementation.
Please point out bugs here, if you find some.

Setup of the non-free.org box should happen ASAP. Initially, all packages
from the non-free component of the Debian archive will be transitioned
to non-free.org and the Debian keyring will be used to authenticate
uploads. The Debian Policy will be applied to the packages, as will the
Developer's Reference (where applicable). 

When this is done (but not before the ending of the vote period of
course), mails will be send to all maintainers of non-free software,
asking them whether they are willing to maintain their packages on
non-free.org. It would be highly desirable to have a QA group which will
cope with (currently) MIA maintainers and maintainers unwilling to move
their packages to non-free.org.  Unmaintained packages will eventually
be removed from the archive in the same fashion that is now happening
for the debian.org archive.

One problem with the transition that has been identified is the
reassignment of bugs from non-free packages back to main packages. The
easy solution here would be to just open a new bug on the main package,
with the full bug log from non-free.org attached. Maybe a better
solution can be hashed out in the future, if this case proves to be
quite common.

Another outstanding issue is the handling of the non-free.org keyring.
We believe it should be kept synced with the debian keyring and other
people should be added only after good consideration. Whether this
amounts to a full-blown NM process will have to be seen.

4. Concluding remarks

The decision whether to use GForge or debian.org-type services should be
made rather quick, I'm quite indifferent to this. A possible solution
would also be to use the available debian katie archive parallel to

On the implementation side, people familiar with the BTS and how to
transfer it are probably most importantly sought after. If you have
experience in this and would like to help, please speak up. Please note
that only an intial help is needed here (although any further help would
be highly appreciated), you don't need to commit yourself long-term

Procedural discussion about the proposed policies for non-free.org is



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