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Re: How much interest in a "debian-science.org" repository?

Kevin B. McCarty wrote:
> Dear list,
> Currently there are a fair number of repositories of science-related
> unofficial Debian packages out there.  I've been thinking that it might
> make sense to consolidate them into a single site.  This would have
> several advantages:
> - Permit convenient one-stop "shopping" for unofficial scientific .debs
> with only one sources.list entry (well, two counting deb-src)
> - Better PR for the unofficial .debs.  Instead of a dozen different
> unofficial repositories, now only one would need to be publicized,
> perhaps with an obvious name like "www.debian-science.org".
> - Possibility of more complicated dependency graphs between unofficial
> packages
> - Possibility (someday) to set up a buildd network that can autobuild
> all the packages for various architectures
> - Testbed for packages that ultimately can enter Debian proper
> - Convenient unofficial source for packages that can't enter Debian, for
> whatever reason, as long as the maintainers had permission to distribute
> them
> I was talking to Brett Viren about the possibility to host CLHEP and
> GEANT4 .debs at his site, maintaining a repository for unofficial
> physics related packages.  So the question is, would other Debian
> Scientists, in fields other than physics, also be interested in using
> this repository?

My initial reaction is, heck yeah! One of the things that sort of drives
me nuts about scientific Linux software (although it isn't limited to
science) is that you have to travel all over the web looking for things.
That's one of the main attractions to Debian/Ubuntu for me. There are
these large repositories of software that make finding and comparing
software so much easier. Plus, having the dependencies in the same place
is definitely helpful.

I would hope that it would also foster collaborative maintenance of the
packages too. Having a single source for source packages as well as the
binaries would be great. Maybe even some svn repos for maintaining the
packaging. On that thought, would Alioth be of any help for this?

-Jordan Mantha

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