Announcing a Debian Hamradio Blend

December 2nd, 2014


Hi,

It's time for a formal announcement!

Contents
========

1. Introduction
2. New Infrastructure
3. Blend Tasks
4. Release Goals for "stretch"

1. Introduction
===============

There is already a good amount of hamradio software in Debian, and thanks go
to the Debian Hamradio Maintainers [1a] for this. The new Debian Hamradio
Blend [1b] will exist as a project of the team and is not going to replace
the team.

The goal of the Blend is to provide extra infrastructure that will be useful
to the members of the team in maintaining existing packages and also to make
it easier for users to discover and use the hamradio packages in Debian.

[1a]: https://wiki.debian.org/DebianHams
[1b]: http://blends.debian.org/hamradio/

2. New Infrastructure
=====================

One of the first things done when I joined the hamradio team was to set up
an Alioth project [2a] to allow for easier collaboration on package
maintainence. Thanks go to Colin Tuckley for assisting with the set up of
the Alioth project.

By using Git for package maintainence, this also enabled the use of PET
(Package Entropy Tracker) [2b] and our instance of this can be found at
[2c]. Thanks go to Ansgar Burchardt for assisting with the set up of our PET
instance.

[2a]: https://alioth.debian.org/projects/pkg-hamradio/
[2b]: https://pet.alioth.debian.org/
[2c]: http://pet.debian.net/hamradio/pet.cgi

3. Blend Tasks
==============

The blend will maintain metapackages for "tasks", and the following tasks
have been selected as a starting point:

 * Antennas
 * Data Modes
 * Digital Voice
 * Logging
 * Morse
 * Non-amateur Modes
 * Packet Modes
 * Rig Control
 * Satellite Operation
 * Software Defined Radio
 * Tools
 * Training

In order to see the packages in each task, you can check out the Blends web
sentinel [3a]. I anticipate adding -dev versions for some tasks where there
are development packages available for some applications and for libraries.

In order to see the health of each task, the Blends web sentinel also
produces a list of bugs in each task [3b] which can help package maintainers
to see where there are important bugs to be fixed.

The Blends web sentinel also provides a "thermometer" [3c] which makes it
easy to see at a glance which versions of packages are in
oldstable/stable/testing/unstable/experimental.

Thanks go to Andreas Tille and Thorsten Alteholz for assisting with the set
up of the Blends web sentinel and the website on blends.d.o.

The task metapackages are maintained in Git [3d] under the Blends Alioth
project.

[3a]: http://blends.debian.org/hamradio/tasks/index
[3b]: http://blends.debian.org/hamradio/bugs_udd/
[3c]: http://blends.debian.org/hamradio/thermometer/
[3d]: http://anonscm.debian.org/cgit/blends/projects/hamradio.git

4. Release goals for "strech"
=============================

I propose, subject to discussion, the following goals for the Blend for the
release of "stretch":

 * An installable set of metapackages for the Blend
 * As far as is possible, the migration of packages that depend on OSS to
   PulseAudio or ALSA. [4a]
 * The inclusion of menu and desktop files in all packages where they would
   be relevant.
 * Moving the XDG menu item for Hamradio into the Blends package, and
   including submenus for each task to make the menu easier to navigate when
   there are many hamradio packages installed.
 
[4a]: https://wiki.debian.org/ReleaseGoals/NoLinuxDevDsp

Of course, these are open for discussion and not set in stone yet.

Apologies if there is anyone else I've forgotten to thank. Getting this off
the ground has been a lot of fun and I hope it will continue being this much
fun going forward.

Thanks for your attention,
Iain.

--
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