Pipes3.0 maybe Threads3.0

James Westby jw+debian at jameswestby.net
Wed Mar 31 14:51:26 BST 2010

On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 10:27:06 +0200, David Henningsson <diwic at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> I'm not into the details of this proposal, so just a layman's question:
> How does this contribute to the complexity of the packaging work as a
> whole? While I see that it fills a gap where things are not working
> optimally today, I'm also curious if this will be one more thing to
> learn to do packaging right, and one more thing to troubleshoot when
> things go wrong? And if it is, are there any plans or thoughts of how to
> minimize that trouble?

These are good questions, and ones that I try and ask myself regularly.

It certainly has the potential to make things more complex, but it can
also make them simpler, partly by making them more consistent.

Debian is moving towards standardising on quilt for patching so that
there is more of a consistent interface, and you can then build on this
to provide more powerful tools, documentation gets easier, and there is
less of a learning curve when touching multiple packages (as happens all
the time in Ubuntu).

We want to do something similar, but integrated in to the VCS, where you
get other benefits too.

I hope it isn't one more thing to learn, but one thing to learn instead
of 5 others. If it becomes the standard in Ubuntu then we could have
great documentation that doesn't have to explain the 5 ways you could
possibly do things, it will be easier to get help on IRC, etc.

Also, I hope that it is more like doing "upstream" work, where patch
systems and the like don't really feature much, you just grab the VCS
and commit. We have some structure on top for organisation, but if this
is done such that people can get a grasp on what they are required to do
I don't think that will be an impediment.

> Will it increase the time taken to build a package?

Not significantly.

> While Ubuntu itself is striving towards becoming more "light", I
> sometimes fear that its packaging system is becoming more heavyweight,
> at least it is not becoming lighter. Do you agree?

That's perhaps true. I hope it is becoming more consolidated though,
which would give us a chance to strip some things away, currently we
have to include everything that anyone uses in any package in Debian or

> That said, I think the idea of transformation between bazaar pipes and
> quilt patches is most interesting, since it removes one layer of
> indirection, compared to having a quilt patch inside a bzr commit.

Yes, I think we definitely need to remove things such as that, as they
are a misstep.



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