[Aptitude-devel] About the status and plans for aptitude

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Sat Dec 31 01:10:39 UTC 2011

On Wednesday 30 Nov 2011 06:31:12 Christian PERRIER wrote:
> Quoting Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo (manuel.montezelo at gmail.com):
> > Well, I think that one needs commit access to some repository, to work
> > comfortably and not with patches flying around in BTS for years.
> >
> > I don't know if the current repository is the better place, maybe
> > dburrows doesn't want other people in the repository, and I myself
> > don't feel totally capable of undertaking/leading what it seems a
> > major task to me.  In addition, in this case we need somebody within
> > Debian with proper permissions to set up things for us.
> The current Alioth project only has Daniel as admin.
> I am among committers but that was for l10n only, which I handed out
> to Jens Seidel a few years ago. Not many things happened even on that
> matter, mostly because of the development freeze (that is related to
> changes in Daniel available free time).
> *I* certainly can't help in coding and sorting things out, etc.....but
> I can help reviving the project, development, etc, including by
> cleaning out the committers list and granting access to whoever might
> need it.
> Daniel, I know you've always been opened to collaboration and
> help. Could you give us your stance about the current discussion?

So, another month has gone by (and I wrote to him the first time on the 3rd 
of November).  The repository [1] is untouched since 5 months ago, and prior 
to that for the whole 2011 it consisted only in about 30 commits, the bulk 
of them just removing cruft (as far as one can tell from the commit 
messages), and the occasional bugfix.  Between July 2010 and March 2011 
there was another period of complete vacuum in the development.  Before July 
2010 there was a period of great activity dating back to 2008 (and I didn't 
bother to look beyond that).

[1] http://anonscm.debian.org/gitweb/?p=aptitude/aptitude.git;a=summary

So other than the obvious lack of time/interest, maybe the current period 
it's because Daniel Burrows is restricting development only to the period 
before freezes for adding new features and quick stabilisation?

Anyway, Daniel Hartwig and me have been triaging bugs (much more him than 
me), and we actually caused a noticeable dent in the graph of open bugs [2] 
(and many of them are now properly classified, thanks to D. Hartwig).  We 
will continue working on that, but some of the stuff like translations and 
minor fixes [3][4] is much quicker to just go and fix them and close bug, 
than to tag and bug-triage them, check if they are valid, tag them, revisit 
at some point in the future and fix them, and then close bugs.

(By the way, Christian, if you feel like it and since you have permissions, 
maybe you could incorporate the translations and close the bugs, it would be 
really useful.)

[2] http://qa.debian.org/data/bts/graphs/a/aptitude.png
[3] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?src=aptitude#_0_5_2
[4] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?src=aptitude#_0_6_2

Anyway, it's not that I'm pushing because I want immediate access to the 
repository, but I would like to know opinions about what to expect and plan 
how to spend my Debian or free software time in the following months.

If for example it's decided that we shouldn't touch the current repository 
for the time being, then maybe it's better to clone it elsewhere and fix 
stuff without more delay, and then it would be pulled by dburrows when he 
becomes available again.  I think that this way of doing things would be 
less intrusive (+1) and would allow us and maybe other interested people to 
tweak and learn about the code without causing trouble to the real 
repository (+1), but with the effect that we would not be able to release 
directly and thus still not making easier the process of triaging bugs, etc.

If it's decided that we should never touch the official repository without 
dburrows' consent, well, I would like to know it as soon as possible, and 
then I will decide what to do in the meantime -- if create the cloned 
repository also without further delay, or something else.  The same if it's 
decided that we can touch the official repository if dburrows doesn't reply 
in X time -- I would like to know how long, not exactly but at least 
approximately, to decide what to do in the meantime.


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