[DRE-maint] On CDBS and packaging gems

Gunnar Wolf gwolf at gwolf.org
Mon Mar 19 22:15:52 CET 2007

Lucas Nussbaum dijo [Fri, Mar 16, 2007 at 09:05:11AM +0100]:
> I have been thinking about that again, and I'm still not sure that we
> want to package such software.
> We are talking about software for which upstream said "No, I won't
> distribute it as something else than a gem".  This is very similar from
> "No, I won't make the slightlest move to help you get that software in
> Debian".
> Do we really want to support such software ? It seems like it's going to
> be a maintenance hell. And we have the rubygems package. We can tell our
> users: "upstream was not willing to make the necessary moves to make it
> possible to package that software in Debian in a simple way. You can
> install it at your own risks using the rubygems package."

I agree with you up to a certain level here: Putting the
.gem/.orig.tar.gz argument aside, I can assure you the Mongrel guys
won't be too happy with having an old version of their code in our
stable Lenny release for a long time - they are agile-fanatic people,
and stable cycles are not what they excel at ;-)

But then again, what about our users? Currently, and for all of Etch's
cycle, Debian's support for Ruby on Rails (which, I don't have to
emphasize this, is a very attractive technology for many people) will
be a bit lacking - You can run a Rails app through FastCGI, although
it's not as easy and fun as it should be, and the Rails world seems to
be moving over Mongrel. So... Well, it won't be the first time we
package software not completely blessed upstream (think Mozilla), but
our users will be benefited by it.

Re-generalizing: I understand working with the Mongrel people might be
problematic. But then again, not all Gems authors will be this way. It
will be easier for us to interface with the Ruby world if we have a
standard way of dealing with Gems. And, at the political level, we
will still get to deal with each author. Some might be quite thrilled
to be in Debian.

The CDBS class I'm suggesting might be parallel to dh-make-perl, which
I co-maintain: A script that makes it easier for you to integrate a
Perl module in Debian. CPAN has its own packaging/versioning scheme,
but it's far easier (for Debian people) to set up their unpackaged
modules with a helper as dh-make-perl - and it should prove the same,
I guess, for Rubyists with this class.


Gunnar Wolf - gwolf at gwolf.org - (+52-55)5623-0154 / 1451-2244
PGP key 1024D/8BB527AF 2001-10-23
Fingerprint: 0C79 D2D1 2C4E 9CE4 5973  F800 D80E F35A 8BB5 27AF
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