Development workflow, and official "Edubuntu PPA"'s...

Scott Balneaves sbalneav at
Mon Nov 9 15:30:31 UTC 2009

Hello, Edubuntu lovers,

After getting a lesson in packaging this weekend from our retired sage
LaserJock, we has a short discussion about something that he set up for the
Edubuntu developers and users which, I think if used effectively, will have a
benificial impact on us all.

If you're not aware, I've decided to go for my MOTU-ship, so that I can
directly update packages in Universe.  Now that we are allowed to put Universe
packages on the DVD, seeing as we are our own distribution, this will make
things much easier for us.  We can (as I understand it) demote most or all of
the education-related apps to Universe, then nothing more than being a MOTU
will be required to maintain Edubuntu.  This significantly lowers the barrier
to entry.

However, even becoming a MOTU does have it's cost.  There's a long process one
must go through in order to be given the keys to the kingdom, as it were.  As
well, even if you DO have MOTU, getting a new package, or an update, into
Universe does take some time.

This is where PPA's can come in to help.  For those not in the know, a PPA is a
Personal Package Archive.  It's your own archive of packages which you can
directly upload to at any time.

We have a team within Edubuntu, called "edubuntu-dev", it consists of the
current Edubuntu developers.  You can see the team's page here.

You'll notice that, about halfway down the page, we have 3 PPA's, namely:
Edubuntu Testing Archive
Edubuntu Stable Updates
Edubuntu Work in Progress

Work in Progress for "Bleeding edge" or alpha quality work, "Testing" for beta
quality packages, and "Stable Updates" for updates to packages that are
currenly stable, but may have a bugfix that we can apply that hasn't yet made
it to the official archives.

Per LaserJock's suggestion, I'd like to propose that the developers, and the
users, start taking advantage of this as the "Semi official" Edubuntu updates
repo, over and above the official Ubuntu-sponsored updates.  It has several

1) Users who wish to receive "more frequent" updates may add the appropriate
   PPA to their apt config, and gain the benefits.
2) Users who do NOT want to have anything other than the officially sponsored
   updates can simply ignore this ppa.
3) People who would like to become Edubuntu developers have a much lower
   barrier to entry.  After doing a bit of packaging or bugfixing work to prove
   their worth, the Edubuntu Community Council can simply vote to have them as
   part of the "edubuntu-dev" team.  This gives them access to the
   "edubuntu-dev" PPA's.  If they choose, they can use their development work,
   when they've done enough of it, to eventually apply for official MOTU-ship.
   Or not, as they so choose.
4) It's a "well known address" where we can point people to to potentially
   receive more frequent updates.

To me, it seems like a good course of action.  By way of kicking it off, today
I'll push up a new version of Sabayon to "Testing".  This new version will
allow you to apply Sabayon profiles by group, in addition to the usual by-user.



Scott L. Balneaves | He that breaks a thing to find out what it is
Systems Department | has left the path of wisdom.
Legal Aid Manitoba |     -- J.R.R. Tolkien

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