[Freedombox-discuss] How do we handle package upgrades on the Freedombox?

Petter Reinholdtsen pere at hungry.com
Tue Apr 15 06:24:20 UTC 2014

[Jonas Smedegaard]
> I have written several times about that very issue on this list.
> Here's an early example (few months after birth of the list):

Glad to have your voice here, and suspect we are getting to a point
where more contributors understand what you mean.

[Jonas Smedegaard 2010-09-01 13:07:45]
> I strongly recommend FreedomBox to be a Debian thing, rather than an 
> on-top-of-Debian thing. I.e. *not* act on configfiles from a sysadmin 
> point of view but as part of Debian, obeying Debian Policy which 
> mandates no automated interaction directly with the content of other 
> packages.  We should not make same mistake as Debian Edu in relying on 
> Debian only for a) initial install and b) maintainance of _binary_ 
> packaging parts, but also for c) maintainance of configfiles.
> It is a *much* slower process to convince a Debian package maintainer 
> to implement reliable packaging configurability for our needs than to 
> hack ourselves on top of an installed package, but all hacks we invent 
> we must *maintain* too, which is too likely to bit-rot down the road.

It is not only a slow process, it is a non-working process in some
cases, when the package maintainer refuse to adjust their packages to
cope with such use case.  If we choose to only go this path, I believe
we will end up without a working solution for the Freedombox.  I would
be happy if you prove me wrong, so please help with the Freedombox
development and try to make it happen.

I just know from personal experience in Debian Edu, that after 12
years there are still packages lacking the support for configuration
we need to do at installation or run time.  And it is not because we
have not tried to convince the package maintainers that Debian Edu
need the features needed.

So to me, the choice is between no freedombox and finding a way that
work after a few months of work.  But I would be happy if you have a
better way I have not yet considered that will lead relevant package
maintainers to maintain the add the support we need in a reasonable
time frame.

Happy hacking
Petter Reinholdtsen

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