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From: George Shapovalov <george@g.o>
Subject: Re: Several portage trees
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 12:02:03 -0700
On Friday 25 April 2003 08:10, Peter Fein wrote:
> > > I was wondering about having several portage trees to allow external
> > > distributor having repositories of packages.
> I think a note saying "DON"T DO THIS UNLESS YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU'RE
> DOING", as is done elsewhere would suffice.  Given the recent volume on
> ebuild approval, that's not much of an counter-argument.  I agree that
> inclusion in Gentoo-proper is a worthy goal - but as a user, not being
> restricted to blessed packages should be my choice (and of course, no one's
> under any obligation to support any of this to begin with, but it's worth
> discussing). Maybe I'm less scared of stability issues running Gentoo on a
> home box that could erupt into flames without causing me much distress, but
> this should be a matter of choice, rather than a policy enforced by
> software.  Such a scheme may actually speed up package acceptance, as it
> provides a wider test base prior to inclusion.
While I agree that providing the option for users to easily get a hold on 
"unapproved" ebuilds is nice and goes along the lines of gentoo phylosophy 
(to allow user break his system as he wishes ;), provided the usual 
disclamer) I do not think separate branch is an answer or even a good idea at 
all.
Granted, debian and pretty much every large binary distribution have brancesh, 
but bear in mind that they are exactly this: binary distribution. We are 
talking about much stricter (and in that respect contradicting) goals and 
central amintaince of these branches. Now, because of higher flexibility 
central maintaince is not really an option in our case and actually goes 
completely against the purpose of this proposed branch...
(I personally don't thunk we need branches even for specialized stuff. We have 
a very flexible mechanism - profiles - in place that allows to form a very 
specialized distribution off the general tree)

So, lets talk about user-land.
If you are talking about this seriously, you should consider the amount of 
ebuilds you will have to sotre and process and what work is involved and what 
kind of "service" are you going to provide. 
My estimate is that you can easily get 500+ ebuilds if you just go through 
bugzilla (I just quickly searched for "new" in the subject) and eventually 
the number will hit the range of thousands. So, do you want to just pile them 
all up in a loooong list? You will have to do some kind of processing and 
arrangement on all these ebuilds.

Lets see: Joe User wants to see what's available in this "freaky" stuff he 
heard so much about on some topic. I can imagine him going like that:
"Oh, there was some noise recently on creating that freaky-branch, should be 
cool to see what's in there. What? Its like 1000+ ebuilds there, how am I 
going to make sence of it ever. Did these guys set-up a search engine yet? 
Fortunately they did (because it's been half a year into this  project 
already :)). Well, I found some stuff, I'ts good they also copied all the 
bugzilla correspondence here, so that I can have some idea on what's the 
status of this ebuild! But wait, I remember somebody announcing a really neat 
thing few weeks ago on -dev, why don't I see it here. How can some people be 
so inconsiderable as not to use this freaky-branch stuff? Sure I know its in 
bugzilla, but it is sooo boring to go there and search, even though not any 
harder..."

Sorry for this improvisation, too much imagination I guess :).

Anyway, my point is, if you want to make this even remotely usefull you will 
have to provide quite a bit of service other than just piling ebuilds up on 
some page. What's more, I think it is quite essentiall to provide a 
possibility of feedback and appropriate ebuild tagging (unless you want to 
test all these ebuilds for stability and correctness yourelf, but in this 
case I will start quietly pointing that rectuiters address to you ;)). And 
somehow all this reminds me of bugs.gentoo.org already ;).

As you can see I have strong feelings about this type of branching, I hope 
this serves as an explanation. I apologise to anybody who thinks I was too 
harsh in this comment.

So, what instead? Can I point you and everybody interested in the direction of 
#1523 again ;)?
Sure, that bug is lengthy and quite involved, so not many people actually get 
through. However I do not see any easy way to go about it. Yes, it *is* 
complex, just what I tried to briefly illustrate and I did not even mention 
any security considerations (without which it's not gonna be approved by 
majority of developers), and possible and IMHO quite required automation..

Yes, that bug was around for like ages already. But if you read it carefully 
you will realise, that some major infrastracture changes have already taken 
place (most of that was written when there were no KEYWORDS and 
gentoo-stable/stats for example). We are undergoing another infrastructure 
rewamp atm and as soon as it gets near completion I will start updating that 
bug again (it doesn't make sence to do so before some organizational issues 
are finalized).

On a final note I just want to solicit some patience and faith in developers. 
We do acknowledge the problem and we are trying to address it. Don't forget 
that we are talking about core infrastructure changes here and it always 
takes time, especially if we want to stay alive during them :).

Post final note :). As always, discussion and contributions in other forms are 
wellcome!

George

--
gentoo-dev@g.o mailing list

Replies:
Re: Several portage trees
-- Peter Fein
References:
Several portage trees
-- Francisco Gimeno
Re: Several portage trees
-- foser
Re: Several portage trees
-- Peter Fein
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