Getting stuff backported is too hard

Micah Gersten micahg at
Wed Aug 4 01:47:21 BST 2010

On 08/01/2010 12:07 AM, Jussi Schultink wrote:
> On Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 8:02 AM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at> wrote:
>> On Saturday, July 31, 2010 09:24:45 pm Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) wrote:
>>> Hi Iain
>>> On 31/07/2010 17:30, Iain Lane wrote:
>>>> This whole train of thought was set off by the amount of upstream
>>>> backport PPAs that I'm seeing springing up. This points to a place
>>>> where our distribution model isn't meeting the needs of upstream
>>>> developers. I would like to think that -backports is a nice home for
>>>> these things instead, but currently I wouldn't advocate it to an
>>>> upstream as the process is just too clunky. Let's fix this. (I am
>>>> aware that the proper fix also blocks on selective backports, but
>>>> let's do what we can now)
>>> In my opinion, encouraging official backport PPAs may have some benefits
>>> in addition to using the -backports repository. Quite often when people
>>> use backports, they are interested in one or two new packages available
>>> in there, in such cases an official upstream backport PPA may be more
>>> appropriate, where -backports would probably be better for things that
>>> applies directly to a very large group of people.
>>> Having a more streamlined backports procedure would be great. How about
>>> also making it easier for people to find official backport PPAs and
>>> formalising it a bit more in Launchpad by making it easier to find by
>>> adding some kind of directory?
>> I think official PPA is an oxymoron.  The entire point of PPAs is that they are
>> not formally part of Ubuntu or constrained by the rules we have for Ubuntu.
>> When you are trying to satisfy a very narrow user base there are things that
>> it may be OK to do that aren't a good idea for something designed for mass use
>> like the Ubuntu archive.
>> To the extent a PPA might be considered "official", I think it ought to be tied
>> to a well recognized team that focuses on a subset of the Ubuntu archive.  An
>> example of this are the PPAs that the Kubuntu development team use to deliver
>> early looks at newer KDE pacakges:
> I think the "official" part is more to do with that it comes directly
> from the upstream, and we can know that this is just from upstream and
> not some other random person who may or may not have inserted rubbish
> code.
> So the PPA would not be official at all with Ubuntu/Kubuntu etc, but
> it would be "Official Firefox PPA" or "Official Quassel PPA", thus
> getting upstreams more involved.
> Jussi.

The problem with this is that upstreams would then have to be familiar
with Debian packaging.  I agree with Scott that these "official" PPAs
are best operated by the team managing the packages.  Kubuntu excels at
this, and I'm working to get more Mozilla stuff in PPAs for people to
get beta builds.


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