Tasks of the GetDeb Team
- Packages scouting
- Identifying software/updates which may have a larger community interest is the main focus of this activity, we do receive some packages requests from the "Contact" form, as we keep providing those packages, people which does not have much interested on development/packaging but which does a lot of research on new software continuously provides us good package candidates. The site search logs are also a good indication on users needs, from an user request perspective.
- Package Building
Learning: Help is provided to anyone that is looking to create debian package for Ubuntu regardless of it's target, we do properly described that for Ubuntu/Debian official packages there are more tecnhical and processual requirements. Our learning material tries to provide a single method for most of the packaging activities, we select the one we believe is easier for learning, it is up to the users to research and use other options and to improve his understanding on debian packaging.
Workflow: A short page which describes our packaging workflow, we have an open model, a not so experienced person may pick a package, fail to build it, another person will pick the package at it's current state, fix the problems, and if there was a bug record for that work, provide some mentoring. The revieing effort is based on the package provider know-how level, this is nothing formal, with a small it is easy for the reviewer to knonw the package provides profile. Reviewing feedback and mentoring requests are provided on the LP bug record associated with that packaging activity. We do not have the ability to provide full mentoring, we do mentoring on a need to know basis.
Automation: The automated building system was recently implemented, it boosted our throughput capacity, improved collaboration but is still lacking some inteligence like validating key requirements on the resulting packages.
GetDeb Wiki: http://wiki.getdeb.net/Package_Building
- Packages Distribution
Packages are currently distributed by .deb links which are managed by a mirror selection script. The package publishing is not automated, it does require manual local system intervention, that is something we are improving, we expect to grant authorized users the ability to upload and publish packages using a web interface. The main concern with the current distribution tecnhology is the lack of GPG siging for autenticity and integrity validation and the lack of automatic updates. Research is beeing done to implement an APT repository to be used from the web interface more details can be found at http://wiki.getdeb.net/Software_Distribution.
- Users communication
- Besides the regular contact form which is used for miscelaneous contact purposes and to report critical events, a greate attention is required on the comments section of packages recently release, this provides us a quick way to identify packaging or runtime problems reported by users.
- Upstream authors communication
- Sending notifications of packages availability, reporting building problems or getting more information about the software are the most common activities on this task. We do also get publishing requests.
- GetDeb infrastructure management
- The mirrors are managed by their owners, however due to the expect traffic increase we always look for new mirror providers, the mirror size is also a concern that we still need to address with some data archiving, this may become an issue for some providers.
- Web Development
The list of planned features has grown, most of them do not have an expected date for implementation due to human resources shortage and the increasing effort required for the other activities, The site engine is closed source, it will be kept closed with acess granted to a few trusted persons until I believe that there will be more people willing to secure/improve the code than abuse it. It is a customized engine, is is not a general purpose platform that could easily used for other portals/sites. List of features at http://wiki.getdeb.net/Web_Development .