Ubuntu AppUpdate

Joao Pinto joao.pinto at getdeb.net
Thu Jul 8 23:20:11 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 11:59 PM, Ryan Oram <ryanoram at trentu.ca> wrote:

> 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".

The last time I have checked pbuilder used chroots just as sbuild does,
where can I read about the VM technology used for the PPAs ?
How does it improve package quality compared to a regular chroot based build
The dependency and scripts validation being specific to pbuilder is not
correct, that depends on installing the package in a clean chroot, something
that we do with sbuild.

> 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.

I am sorry, but again that is not correct, please check "
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU/Contributing", search for "Build the package
with sbuild <https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SbuildLVMHowto> or

> > 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.

We avoid to provide information the main page which is useful for a few
users, we do have a "Contact" 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. ;)

The GetDeb repository is just as integrated as a PPA, it's a regular 3rd
party repository,  we don't use PPAs because:
1) our build system is prior to PPAs
2) some of our packages are not acceptable per PPA's software licence
3) we have more flexibility to integrate features which wouldn't have much
use on the PPA scenario

> 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.
The PPA does not validate if a package is Ubuntu/Debian policy compliant,
such is not  possible in a fully automated fashion, lintian helps a lot but
does not replace a human reviewer.

> > 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.

Right, and would provide no benefits.

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.
> Thanks,
> Ryan

Best regards,

João Luís Marques Pinto
GetDeb Team Leader
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