Maintainers of scientific applications: Please maintain tasks files! (Was: Bug#592701: science-statistics: typo in package description)

Christophe Prud'homme prudhomm at
Fri Aug 13 06:52:25 UTC 2010

Dear Andreas,

I worked a little bit on the tasks but I don't have the permission to write
on the svn server
Can't create directory '/svn/blends/db/transactions/2353-1.txn': Permission

Attached you will find the patch.

Best regards

On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 10:26 PM, Andreas Tille <andreas at> wrote:

> Hi,
> sorry for quoting myself, but may be the previously choosen subject
> might have hidden the problem a bit and after some investigation into
> Debian Science tasks files I came to the conclusion that they are not
> properly maintained.  :-(
> Just from watching the PTS mails what packages were updated and what
> were moved to testing I found a bunch of packages which are not
> registered in the tasks files.  If we gain for some completion in
> presenting scientific software we simply fail to do so.
> On Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 09:12:01PM +0200, Andreas Tille wrote:
> > > Do you know if the wiki will be updated to present ghkl in the right
> > > tasks ?
> >
> > The wiki is manually edited and I really hope it will NOT be updated.
> > Why should it?  We should really stop manually editing those Wiki pages
> > because in contrary what people keep on telling you about Wikis: It just
> > is outdated.  The tasks pages of the Blends web sentinel[1] will be
> > updated once a day and they contain all needed information about the
> > packages and are contain really the latest information.
> This statement is only true if we work together in registering packages
> in the tasks pages.  To make it more clear what this means I would like
> to explain in short the phases of getting a package into Debian and how
> this is reflected in the blends stuff.
>  1. WNPP
>     The best way to do would be to register the prospective package
>     just now.  There are examples in the tasks files and it is also
>     explained in the docs[2].
>     An example which shows the effect of registering a prospective
>     package can be sen for instance in the case of avl[3]
>     Please note: The Long description has to be specified in the
>     field "Pkg-Description" (NOT Description - see the bug in the
>     subject of this mail).
>     My personal policy is: I'm registering WNPPs for any package which
>     is relevant for Debian Med, but my time does not allow to do the
>     same for Debian Science.  I sometimes just add the package and
>     WNPP bug number to make sure the package will be there once it
>     is uploaded (but it does not show up on the tasks pages by only
>     specifying WNPP bug number)
>  2. Upload to new
>     Once a package is in the new queue there is no extra information
>     needed any more, because the new queue is parsed for packages
>     mentioned in the tasks file.  This can be seen after the next
>     cron run in the example of libmadlib-dev[4]
>  3. Accepted by ftpmaster and upload to unstable
>     At least at this point the package should be registered in the
>     according tasks file and IMHO the easiest way would be if the
>     maintainer would care for this.  He just knows which task fits
>     best and he watches the package most closely.
>  4. Package moves to testing
>     Once a package is in testing it is registered as Recommended
>     package (instead of only Suggested) after releasing the next
>     version of Debian Science metapackages
>  5. Stable release
>     Everybody who installs a science metapackage will learn about
>     the registered packages (and might fail to realise those who are
>     not registered).
> We are currently close to a stable release and probably have only one
> chance to fix the tasks files to be released in Squeeze.  So maintainers
> of scientific packages please do your homework NOW.  If you have no idea
> how to edit the tasks files (any DD has commit permissions to SVN) feel
> free to send me a patch or just write an e-mail to the list what you
> think should be changed in the tasks files.
> This is also a simple task for general readers of this mailing list who
> are not actually packaging software: Just browse the tasks pages[1] and
> watch out what packages might be missing.
> Note: I CAN NOT do this on my own and probably nobody can because I'm
> just lacking the knowledge to properly categorise those packages nor
> do I know all the packages inside Debian.
> So please provide some input - it is needed right now.
> Kind regards
>    Andreas.
> > [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
>    (not available at the time of writing)
> --
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> Archive:

Debian Developer (Scientific applications)
Prof. at Univ. Grenoble in Applied Math.
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