Debian Weekly News - email
From: Seth Cohn <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 14:53:56 -0700 To: email@example.com Subject: DFMR (Deb Freshmeat Repository) lives! Joey, could you give this a mention in the Weekly news please? (I've already sent a bug report to the firstname.lastname@example.org cause it doesn't look like email@example.com is being archived - so I've included some excerpts from the threads....) The Deb Freshmeat Repository (DFMR) is coming back. Patrick Lenz (scoop of freshmeat) has offered to restore the DFMR, and will be installing debbugs to create a bugtracking system. Suggestion and plans are being made as to how the archive will run... and also an experienced volunteer (or team) to act as Chief Maintainer is still needed. With the recent hubbub over KDE/QPL, the talk of removal of non-free, multiple .deb using distributions (Corel & Stormix to start with), and the multitude of unofficial aptable and non-aptable sites with .debs (http://www.internatif.org/bortzmeyer/debian/apt-sources/ lists aptable ones), the time is ripe. It's getting chaotic with no central unofficial place to look for stuff. If it's not in Debian officially, good luck in finding it packaged, even if you know it has been packaged by someone. Often it's packaged, but not aptable, only downloadable. Aliening an RPM is no substitute for a real .deb package. There is no equivalent to rpmfind.net right now. Details are still being worked out, and everyone is invited to the discussions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seth Cohn email@example.com ---- from the threads: ---- > Scoop, why did the Freshmeat .deb archive go away to begin with? > I can't see to find any reasons in the mailing list archives... > Was it just space, lack of a maintainer, or what? scoop: It comes down to lack of being current. When I removed the tree, no packages had been uploaded for almost 2 years. In such a case I prefer having no repository at all instead of having a totally outdated one. ---- RH contrib is really a mess, but such a mess could be useful to a certain extent. An archive like this could make life of Debian maintainers easier, provided that packages are well prepared. They could just browse the archive finding useful packages to be incorporated into Debian. ----- I think a way of having unofficial .debs is needed, It would be nice to have some central point/database of these packages with date of creation, description, and pointers back to some other hosting site such as freshmeat, sourceforge or other. Some how the user needs to be able to get information like on the official site such as bug reports and upstream source, dsc files etc to make judgements on the viability of each package. The user will make the decision if the package is viable, not the debian release manager, so there is an increased need for information about the packages.. I occasionally install .deb's I find on the net but always am apprehensive about the contents. ----- One thing I think should NOT happen (IMHO) is getting involved in the Non-Free controversy currently 'raging' in Debian circles. This archive would NOT be meant to be a non-free replacement. This archive would be more like a central package repository, trying to replace/compliment the above unofficial apt-source sites. The problem is that there are just too many apt-sources listed there, and there are tons of other software packages that are NOT aptable right now (but if you download the .deb from whatever site, it installs fine.) ----- The current (non-existant?) process is that people package their own .debs, they try (or not) to get them into the basic Debian tree, and in the mean time they sit out there on hundreds of scattered uncollected sites across the 'net that nobody knows about. That is not a Good Thing. What this freshmeat archive potentially offers is a venue for people to collect and place their potential Debian packages for general consumption; a single well published place to find the packages that haven't been officially blessed yet. Yes, its likely to be become a mess with many sub-standard packages, but then it can also act as a feeder pipe for new and worthy packages into Debian and then, as we go along, perhaps we can work out means to keep the mess from getting too big. ----- I'm thinking that 3 pieces are needed, one of which is in place: 1) In place: an existing well publicized site, freshmeat, with a complete app list, and debian links in place. 2) a DB maintainer. apt-source really needs the release/packages info even if the individual .debs are well built. This requires a maintainer, not just Scoop/whoever putting files from /incoming into /pub/freshmeat/deb. 3) A bugtrack & mailing list. The mailing list here fulfills only half of this. A bugtracking system is really needed, or else how do we know how good the package is... Since the Debian bugtracking software is free, all we require is someone to host it. ---- What would it take to keep "the mess" from getting out of hand? So far most or all these items have been mentioned... - registered contributors (via Freshmeat or independently?) - periodic check that the contributor is contactable - signed packages (pgp2, pgp5, pgp6, gpg) - categorization beyond what Debian does - lintian clean vs. unclean - supported vs. unsupported - binary+source vs. no source - a bug tracking system - a management team -----
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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.