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

On Wed, Jul 19, 2006 at 03:12:33PM -0500, Carlo Segre wrote:
> On Wed, 19 Jul 2006, Daniel Baumann wrote:
> >
> >I see no reason to not upload any dfsg-compliant package, whetever it is
> >science related or not, to Debian directly. If the package is upstream
> >buggy, then it should be uploaded to experimental, rather than an
> >unofficial repository.
> >
> >If you're lacking sponsors, tell me and I can help with sponsoring 
> >packages.
> >
> The biggest problem with non-free packages, which many science-related 
> pacakges would fall into, is that there is no automatic buildd system for 
> them.  I have been trying to get pgplot5 rebuilt with no success.

You were not persistent enough ;-)
Plus it is currently a bad time to ask for builds of non-free packages,
since there is some backlog on most arches. When I last rebuilt pgplot5 for
m68k, my machine was probably idling. Can you remind me where to upload
non-free packages to?

> Apart 
> from that, I agree with you that putting them in the main distribution is 
> the best policy.

Right, I don't see the point in recreating Debian has already, "just" for
scientific software. Software packaged for debian should be part of debian,
if it is in some other repo, it can be hard to find. Especially if you have
to grab packages from a dozen different sources...

As for the buildd network, I don't think packages would have to be built for
all Debian supported arches. As much as I defend the m68k arch, I don't
think I would want to run geant4 there. IMHO it would be best to concentrate
on those arches, where the software would actually be used, amd64, i386,
maybe powerpc and sparc. If somebody wants to run the software on a different
arch, they can just grab the sources and when the Build-Depends are set
correctly, it will be a piece of cake to build packages for that arch. It
might only take some time, and if that takes too much time, maybe that arch
is not really suitable for using that software.

As for the ubuntu/debian stable/unstable problem, I don't think that really
is a problem. The debian buildds are building their packages in chroots, so
you can build packages for stable, unstable, security on one machine and
even concurrently if the CPU and RAM are sufficient. I am building the R
backports for sarge and last week I started building for Ubuntu/dapper as
well. You just need to setup the chroot and you're ready to build packages.
Once you find out that you need to install the ubuntu debootstrap package to
setup an ubuntu chroot, it works just as building packages for debian. If
the packages are prepared well, we might even cross-build them, if you
really want to build for 11 arches... but that is something I only tried for
the kernel, I think this would be a lot more difficult for many other

BTW thanks for the Geant4 packages! Now I only have to convince the retirees
in my lab to teach me how to use it... the -examples package is nice, but
maybe you can add two lines how to compile (g4make) and where to find the
executables afterwards. I've never used it before, and if I hadn't browsed
your website, I would still be searching...


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