Getting new packages into Ubuntu

Stefano Rivera stefanor at
Mon Oct 10 19:24:08 UTC 2011

Hi Sebastien (2011.10.10_20:34:48_+0200)
> What if we made packaging easy enough that upstream code get their
> software themself in extras?

I think that's a pretty vital requirement for ARB to succeed long term.
And sandboxing. Otherwise the review load is monstrous.

And yes, ARB has the potential to give a really low
submission-to-publication turnaround time, which is a great motivator.

> > * Every package needs to be explicitly uploaded to every release.
> We might want to target mainly lts versions then for arb?

I guess we'll know, once ARB gets up to speed...

> > * No obvious approaches to handling security issues or bug reports yet.
> How does android or app stores deal with those?

I have no idea :) But they haven't necessarily found all the right
answers, yet, either.

> Do we need to deal with those or can we just treat those as any
> software you download from the internet and let users deal with
> software writes?

When you download something from the software centre, the origin isn't
obvious. Currently, I think about the only obvious feedback mechanism is
the reviews in Software Center (are those visible on the web anywhere?).
By doing this, we are also aligning Ubuntu with these apps, to some
degree. People find the quality of the apps in smartphones application
stores to be a discriminator between smartphone platforms. I think
that'll easily carry over to Ubuntu, and people will measure Ubuntu by
the quality of the app store.

We don't want as little responsibility as possible. We want to create
the best experience for our users and ourselves.

> We shouldn't aim at getting libraries in extras, the libraries should be
> part of the platform an in the archive itself then.

I'm talking about bundled libraries, not library packages. There'll be
ARB apps that need libraries that aren't in Ubuntu. (And probably ARB
apps that want different library versions to what we ship in Ubuntu).

> Well, do you think that letting the universe unfrozen under feature
> freeze rules would improve its stability or lower it? I think it would
> improve it since we could keep fixing bugs.

The only FFes we've turned down have been NEW applications. There
haven't been many requests. And yes, I think universe needs time to
stabilise like everything else.

> Well you would perhaps have run into some issues where you need upgrades
> or fixes to the "platform" side and looked at the "main" archive to get
> those solved? Or you would have just contributed to extras and reach
> users which is a valid contributions as well...

In fact I did (python-configobj), and now maintain that library in
Debian. But I'm expecting that the ARB solution to that problem would be
to bundle the newer library version. Otherwise, would we be expecting
ARB to sort out the dependencies as SRUs?


Stefano Rivera
  H: +27 21 465 6908 C: +27 72 419 8559  UCT: x3127

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