Daniel Holbach daniel.holbach at
Thu Mar 8 14:57:06 GMT 2007

Hello João,

On Do, 2007-03-08 at 13:33 +0000, João Pinto wrote:
> I have been a software developer for a long time and just recently got
> interested into software packaging, mostly because during my Ubuntu
> forum's participation I realized there is a lot of non-developers
> spending too much time to get a specific application or feature which
> is not yet available on the repositories. 
> I am not an experienced packager but I did understood the strict
> policy/requirements to be a Debian/Ubuntu maintainer by looking into
> REVU and Debian mentors, I would never be able to keep
> updating/creating packages with such quality requirements and be able
> to have "0 days" packages together with the site building and
> packaging requests scouting. 

I can see your point. It often takes a while to get packages
      * conform to the packaging policy
      * reviewed
      * included.

Each of these steps takes a certain amount of time, but that for a

     1. Packages which conform to the packaging policy are less likely
        to cause problems on the user's machines.
     2. Reviewed packages are less buggy, contain all the necessary
        information and reviewer and package maintainer both learn
        during the process.
     3. Packages that went through the archive admins' hands are
        redistributable and won't cause problems for the user or the
        distributor of those packages.

It's clear that our current process it not optimal. Therefore we're
working on a new process that will make step 2 easier and shorter
because of collaboration on the packaging. [1]

Documentation could be easier and better, to make step 1 quicker. It'd
be nice if you could check [2] and give feedback on it.


> Today I have added RSS Feed to GetDeb
> ( , the id is based on the
> distro selection) I think it could be a good start to monitor package
> releases, however I am still missing a core requirements: 
>   1. The debian diffs are not (yet) available
>   2. Internal revision/notification in case an already published
> package needs to be updated (I am justing uploading the new .deb now)

Do you publish the source somewhere?

> Right now I am working on accounts support I am planning to provide
> future services like new releases emails, users rating, comments, etc.
> once user login/register is finished I will work on the above points,
> I will let you know when it's ready, hopefully next week. 
> I was already very motivated because I get frequent feedback from
> getdeb users, most of the packages and features are based on them. I
> am happy to know that I will be able to cooperate even more with the
> Ubuntu community. 

The packages you provide seem to fall into three categories:

     1. NEW packages. It'd be interesting for us to know about those and
        get the source somewhere. That way we could work with you on
        including them in Ubuntu.
     2. Backported packages. You seem to know quite well what would be
        interesting for backports and what not. What do you think about ?
     3. Changed packages. If you apply changes or fix packages in
        certain ways, it'd be great to get the source for the change

I encourage you to get as much of these changes done in Ubuntu. The
reasons for that are pretty simple:

      * If you encounter problems or bugs here are a lot of hands who
        can help you with that.
      * Where do your users report bugs? Right: most likely in
        Launchpad. Who will fix those bugs?  --  Sorry if this sounds
        provocative. It's merely meant to start the discussion about the
        practise of working together.
      * Reach even more users with your fixes and changes - get those
        fixes installed by default.

Let us know what you think about it.

Have a nice day,

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