Ubuntu AppUpdate

Ryan Oram ryanoram at trentu.ca
Thu Jul 8 22:59:19 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 6:23 PM, Joao Pinto <joao.pinto at getdeb.net> wrote:
> Did you read http://wiki.getdeb.net/AutomatedBuildSystem ?
> We have experienced some hosting problems on the last couple of months which
> had a major impact on our availability, we expect to recover full
> operationally soon.
> Our packages use sbuild (I believe the official archive also uses it), I am
> not aware of safety checks applied at PPAs, can you ellaborate ?

Ubuntu, Debian, and all Launchpad PPAs use pbuilder to create their
packages. The packages are built on a virtual server to ensure
integrity and consistency. The process is essentially cellular
division: a VM is created, the build dependencies are downloaded and
installed, the software is built from source, the package is uploaded
to your PPA, and the VM is deleted. It's really what made me fall for
Ubuntu. :P

debuild is not nearly as robust. pbuilder, as it builds packages in a
chroot environment, forces developers to check that their build
scripts are not static and forces them to verify that all the package
dependencies are listed in the package. It also runs lintian, to
verify that the packages follow Debian/Ubuntu policy to the "t".

It is now a requirement that all official Debian packages are
generated via pbuilder and I believe it has been a requirement for
inclusion into the Ubuntu repositories since Ubuntu's inception.

> You may have a documented process as we do for quite some time but I find
> it  very unlikely that it will ever be "Official" as that requires
> Canonical/Ubuntu community approval and I really don't see your project
> aligned with the current official plans/projects like  the software center
> opportunistic  applications, daily builds etc.

By "official", I meant documented. I now see that your project has
documentation, but I couldn't find anywhere on your website, except
through your external link.

My project will be completely integrated into Software Center as it is
PPA based. It is just a layer on top of the official Ubuntu repository
and updates are managed through Update Manager. There are no extra
websites to visit or .debs to download. It completely integrated into
apt, so all you need to do is add the PPA. ;)

Additionally, because it is mandated that all packages be generated
via the developer's PPA, the packages are, for the most part, ensured
to follow Ubuntu/Debian policy.

> GetDeb has some objectives common to what you are proposing, it has been
> successful in many aspects, failed in some others, the current team is very
> small but with a long experience. I think it would be more beneficial for
> the community to join instead of divide.

I would be more than happy to assist your project and help integrate
it into the Launchpad and PPA processes. However, this would be a huge
restructuring of your project, requiring many time-consuming changes.
This is the reason why I opted to start a new project, as it would
probably be less work for everyone to start from scratch.

If your team is willing to make these changes, I would be happy to
participate in their implementation. In the meantime, my project is up
and running and I am willing to accept any assistance any member of
the Ubuntu community is willing to give.


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