[Fedora-packaging] code vs. content

Yaakov Nemoy loupgaroublond at gmail.com
Sun Nov 22 14:05:49 UTC 2009

2009/11/21 Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger at gmail.com>:
> On Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 12:26:38PM +0100, Yaakov Nemoy wrote:
>> > Actually I'd expect such a repository to either starve out soon or to evolve
>> > into a huge Fedora "-media", "-tube", "-tunes", "-flickr" or similar.
>> That is exactly the idea.
>> 1) It starves, and then we say, told you so, now get back to doing
>> real packaging work.
>> 2) It turns into a blob of a media repository, attracts a certain kind
>> of attention and grows into its own project, i don't see anything
>> wrong there either. This has some potential for alot of people, such
>> as OLPC. Having Fedora's expertise on how to do packaging right means
>> this project gets better quality too.
>> 3) It finds a middle ground between the two. Now we're stuck with the
>> tricky part where we have to evaluate if it fits in Fedora or not. The
>> catch is we can't predict how it will develop though, so we can't even
>> begin to discuss it.
>> In all three scenarios, the idea is to let such a concept play out.
>> Rather than trying to discuss it's merits now, just let it happen, and
>> we can make a better decision later.
> One technical point -- I don't think that Fedora rpm packaging is really the
> right technology for this.  I don't think it scales to what we want.  I
> don't know of any code-oriented packaging that would.
> Here are some of the limitations I see:
> * namespace:  I package londonpictures.  You also have pictures of london...
>  what do you call your package?
> * repository size:  How many individual photos are there on flikr?
>  Potentially, we can have photo packages on that order of magnitude.
> * description and search:  We're getting to the point where we have good
>  searching via yum for packages.  But how do we do the same thing for
>  collections of photos?  Let's say I want pictures of rubbish bins.  How
>  does that pull a single picture out of the londonpictures package?

Point taken. Can we agree this is just a technical issue though?

> Is content useful?  Yes, I think so.  Should there be free software means of
> delivering content to others, yes I think so.  Should there be a way to manage
> content on your computer?  Yes, I think so.  Is rpm packaging the right way
> to do that?  No, I don't think so.  Is the Fedora Project a venue where we
> can try to launch a free software means of doing this?  I do think it fits
> in with our mission.  I'm unsure of the overall benefit to our users (there
> *are* definite benefits in certain areas -- like being able to search Project
> Gutenberg, use a netbook like an ebook reader, have data for mapping
> software, etc)  however, there might be other, distro neutral projects that
> we should work more closely with to achieve these goal -- for instance,
> partner with open street maps to let people upload and share mapping
> information there but provide a standard location for it to be on the
> filesystem, help code libraries and APIs to search and download them from
> the network to the local machine, and building desktop tools that use that
> information.

I'm thinking this might be a good candidate for a GSoC / Newcomer project. We can discuss it further, but if you find someone who's looking to become a new contributor somehow, i'm willing to mentor such an initiative.  I think this goes beyond the scope of just creating another blessed third party repo but it's probably very useful in the end.

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