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To: gentoo-dev-announce@g.o, gentoo-dev@g.o
From: Sebastian Pipping <sping@g.o>
Subject: Why a betagarden overlay
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 00:29:26 +0100
Hello!


First: If betagarden were a normal overlay, I would not be writing about
it here.

If you're in a hurry just skip the introduction and jump down to section
"Betagarden overlay".


Introduction
============
The betagarden overlay has been around for a while.  I always wanted to
write about its purpose and invite you to collaboration but I haven't
got to it before.

I understand betagarden as a third place supplementing the Gentoo main
tree (sometimes known as "gentoo-x86" or "portage") and the special
overlay of Project Sunrise [1].  It fills a gap that these other two
repositories leave open.  Let's have a look:


  Gentoo Main tree
  ----------------
  - Post-publishing review
  - Territorial write access: Gentoo Developers (only)
  - Full write access: Gentoo QA maybe?
  - High quality standards

  sunrise overlay
  ---------------
  - Pre-publishing review
  - Reduced write access: Anyone passing a simple test [2]
  - Full write access: Project Sunrise developers (only)
  - High quality standards


From these lists a few things can be observed:

 1. Both trees require high quality from ebuilds.  This includes
    - Full integration with Gentoo (menu entries, init scripts, etc.)
    - Cleaning the ebuild
    - Support for LDFLAGS
    - ...

 2. Gentoo developers who are not fully committed to sunrise
    do not have full write access to it


-->  Wouldn't it be nice to have a place where polishing is optional
     (as long as the ebuilds are still safe) with more liberal write
     access?

But there's another group of repositories that I would also like to have
a look at:


Gentoo developer overlays
-------------------------
When you go to <http://git.overlays.gentoo.org/gitweb/> you see them
instantly - most Gentoo devs have one:

  dev/aballier.git  Developer overlay  Alexis Ballier
  dev/alexxy.git    Developer overlay  Alexey Shvetsov
  dev/anarchy.git   Developer overlay  Jory Pratt
  dev/angelos.git   Developer overlay  Christoph Mende
  [..]

Many of these overlays currently combine two groups of ebuilds:

 - Stuff useful to themselves, only

 - Stuff useful to a wider audience
   (that they didn't feel like adding to the Gentoo main tree)


With such a mix it often makes no sense for somebody else to keep that
overlay installed over time.

-->  Wouldn't it be nice to have the stuff useful to others in a more
     central place (and reduce your developer to stuff that basically is
     only interesting to you)?

Hollow and I (sping) have been trying to do that with our overlays:
moving stuff useful to others over to betagarden, a shared overlay.



Betagarden overlay
==================
So now that I have shared my view on the Gentoo main tree, the sunrise
overlay and developer overlays let me summarize how betagarden fits in:

 - Full write access to all Gentoo Developers
   That means more freedom than in the main tree or sunrise.

 - Reduced (but essential) quality standards
   (hence the "beta" in "betagarden")

 - Keeping really useful stuff off the developer overlays


How to join
-----------
All devs have write access to betagarden already.

 1. Clone git+ssh://git@.../proj/betagarden.git

 2. Add yourself to the betagarden@g.o alias:
    # ssh dev.gentoo.org
    # nano -w /var/mail/alias/misc/betagarden

 3. Start adding (or moving over existing) ebuilds

If you have trouble pushing commits please contact <overlays@g.o>.

In bugzilla, you can assign bugs to <betagarden@g.o> by now.


Expected criticism
------------------
I expect some of you to be worried: does that mean people stop adding
quality ebuilds to the Gentoo main tree and move on to betagarden?

No.  If an ebuild is really important it belongs into the main tree.  In
that case someone will take the time to ensure high quality standards
and move it from betagarden to the main tree.


I hope some of you do see something good in this project.

Thanks for your interest,



Sebastian


[1] http://overlays.gentoo.org/proj/sunrise
[2] http://overlays.gentoo.org/proj/sunrise/wiki/HowToCommit#Password


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