multimedia-blends: policy question(s)

Ross Gammon ross at
Thu Jun 11 19:44:23 UTC 2015

Hi IOhannes,

On 06/11/2015 08:41 PM, "IOhannes m zmölnig (Debian/GNU)" wrote:
> hi, esp ross,
> i was having a look at the multimedia-blends package, and would like to
> change the categorization of a few package i (co)maintain.

I was actually planning to send an update when I am finished sifting
through the RFP's. But now is as good a time as any.

> should i just go ahead and commit them, or does this require some
> discussion?

Yes please! There are bound to be things wrongly categorised. And
sometimes a package does so much stuff you have to choose between having
it in lots of tasks, or just the one it majors in (very subjective).

I will keep an eye on the log for any syntax errors etc.

> furthermore, i noticed that the various tasks mainly use the *Depends*
> relationship.
> now i'm not an expert with blends, but personally i think that 'Depends'
> should be avoided as much as possible (in general).

I think the web sentinel (task pages) do not distinguish between Depends
and Recommends. But if you put Suggests it lists the package in the
"packages with lower relevance" section toward the bottom.

When building the metapackages, all Depends are demoted to Recommends.

> this is even more important, as i think that most tasks in the
> multimedia blend are rather aggregative (or whatever the word): chances
> are high that a person that selects a given task will never ever need
> *most* of the packages in the task.

The web sentinel is to help people find relevant packages so they can
choose which one to install. In this case, it is better to have all
relevant packages listed somewhere.

> in general i think there are too many packages in the various tasks
> (e.g. it might make sense to factor out the entire pd-clan from
> "soundsynthesis", as most of those packages don't deal with sound
> synthesis at all; darn - did i just here me volunteer to maintain a
> "puredata" task?)

That is a good suggestion, and there is already a precedence with the
"ladi" task. Whilst sifting through all the packages, I found I was
missing tasks for things like broadcast, cinema, streaming, photography
& animation. We also have a lot of audio file post-processing tools (e.g
volume & pitch shifters) that I found it hard to categorise. I think I
put them in timestretching. Maybe this task should be renamed (or the
description of the task redefined)?

> anyhow: if i want to some record some audio, i would select the
> "recording" task, which will installs by (among other things):
> at least (at a first glance) 4 multitrack recorders (3 of them via Depends)
> - ardour
> - ardour3
> - qtractor
> - ecasound
> (though for whatever reasons audicity is missing)

Audacity for some strange reason is in the mixing task.

> and a few tools which i fail to see why they are in "recording" at all
> (only listing a few select Depends-packages):
> - jackd
> - qjackctl
> - ffmulticonverter
> if the blend is to give an overview of what is available (so the user
> can try a few, and then pick their favourite tool), wouldn't it make
> more sense to "Recommend" most packages, so that they can easily get rid
> of the tools they dislike (without having to uninstall the entire task,
> which potentially removes all the (other) automatically-installed
> dependencies)

Yes, in my opinion the more packages there are in the task (good for the
web sentinel), the less useful the meta-package becomes.

I think it was Jonas who suggested we should create some tasks for
different music studio setups. I was thinking of having a "basic" audio
workstation (some simple tools), and a more "pro" workstation. These
tasks could have a small number of essential tools tailored to the
user's level of experience.

There is also the possibility on providing tailored config settings
(e.g. PulseAudio/jack, low latency kernels etc.) in the metapackages,
but I would need some help here!

I should try and find the archive of that thread.

> if most of the above can be explained away by my total ignorance of
> blends, please excuse (and enlighten) me.

You are not alone! I have only picked up a bit of knowledge because my
first sponsor was Andreas Tille, and it was one of his stipulated
conditions for sponsorship :-)

Maybe we should try and sketch out some ideas for the blends tasks on
the wiki?

Thanks for the good question.



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