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Re: next level of freedesktop.org



On Thu, 2003-07-17 at 12:36, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> I'd like to see what people think about making some changes to
> freedesktop.org to create a stronger "center of gravity" for
> X/Linux/UNIX desktop development shared between the desktop projects,
> toolkits, and applications such as Mozilla and OpenOffice.org.
> 
> Concretely, I'm proposing the following steps:
> 
> 1. We welcome desktop-related development projects on an
>    indiscriminate basis; if it's desktop-related and open source, you
>    can use freedesktop.org hosting.
> 
> 2. We move freedesktop.org to better hosting facilities.
> 
> 3. We investigate the idea of making a versioned "desktop platform
>    release" that would be a distribution with multiple modules, much
>    like a GNOME or KDE release. It would contain a snapshot of stable
>    tarballs for various desktop platform components.
> 
> More details on each of these follow.
> 
> 1. More Projects
> ===
> 
> Given better hosting and the option to use ACLs, there's no reason not
> to be a wide open community where anyone who wants to do
> desktop-related work is welcome. I've already been handing out
> freedesktop.org accounts more or less to anyone who asks, but asking
> isn't all that attractive, since we lack important things such as
> bugzilla.
> 
> One immediate need in this area is to host Keith Packard's work,
> including the set of font libraries (fontconfig, Xft), and other
> X-related work he would like to do.
> 
> Another obvious thing to host is Carl Worth's Xr library, as GTK+ and
> I believe other toolkits are looking to use this as a vector graphics
> engine. Xr has a couple of dependency libraries as well.
> 
> freedesktop.org already hosts D-BUS, CSL, pkg-config, and
> desktop-file-utils, among other pieces of software, in addition to
> specifications.
> 
> Future areas of freedesktop.org work could also have an implementation
> component:
> 
>  - some shared library for the URI namespace (VFS/ioslave)
>  - a sound server
>  - my proposed hardware library (http://ometer.com/hardware.html)
>  - a configuration system?
>  - useful bits factored out of OpenOffice.org or Mozilla
> 
> Undoubtedly people can think of more.
> 
> A question is whether we're interested in hosting any of the
> applications themselves, or only shared underpinnings of
> applications/desktops.
> 
> If for example projects such as XFCE or ROX wanted to use
> freedesktop.org CVS, I think that would be fine. But perhaps there's
> some line where we don't want to be quite as busy as sourceforge.

I would prefer it to be limited to things that are design to facilitate
cross-desktop operations, although I also see no problems with something
like ROX and XFCE whilst they do not necessarily match my short
requirements sentence. Having an initial stance that you will decide on
a project-by-project basis should not be viewed as unreasonable.

> 2. Hosting
> ===
> 
> Suggest the following:
> 
>  - a larger server (more mem/cpu/disk) to handle more traffic
>  - dedicated list server rather than using listman.redhat.com
>  - a bugzilla instance
>  - cvs infrastructure to allow maintainers to put ACLs on their cvs
>    modules
>  - ssh rather than pserver for cvs access
>  - some way to track real names and email addresses for each 
>    cvs account
>  - a server where people other than me can have shell accounts and
>    help with server maintenance
> 
> Right now the cvs/web server is a fairly underpowered machine at Red
> Hat and is not dedicated exclusively to freedesktop.org, which means
> I'm the only one who can log into it.
> 
> If we can host Keith Packard's work, we have an offer for a server on
> a large Internet connection at Portland State University. This is
> currently hosting xwin.org.
> 
> We can also host a server at Red Hat's colocation site, along with
> gnome.org/vger.kernel.org/sources.redhat.com, but we would need to
> find a server to colocate there.

I agree with the motivations. If you are going to ramp up, you want to
be immune to traffic loads and things like "Havoc going on holiday".

The solutions look good, too. Is there any reason to prefer the
colocation solution over Keith's offer? His offer seems simplest.

> 3. Platform Release
> ===
> 
> Counting only what freedesktop.org has so far, plus fontconfig, Xft,
> Xr + dependencies, there are already quite a few tarballs to download
> that are prerequisites to use GNOME, KDE, and the large apps.
> 
> You can easily get bad combinations of these tarballs;
> fontconfig/freetype combinations that are no good, for example.  Plus,
> it's annoying for people to track the version numbers and releases of
> all these sub-modules.
> 
> My proposal is that we do a versioned release that defines the
> expected shared underpinnings of the desktops, toolkits, and major
> applications. This will let us depend on simply "desktop platform
> release 3.0" for example, rather than specifying a lot of individual
> components. It will also mean we test things as a whole, and users can
> install them in one go. Finally, it gives us a central place to define
> what platform the major desktop projects are expecting users to
> install.

Yes. Totally agree.

Cheers,
Malcolm



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