• Time: 13:15 - 14:15

  • Name: Collaboration & Convergence

  • Facilitators: Mako Hill and Ismael Olea

  • Description: This session will focus on the potential for collaboration and convergence between various distributions in Spain such as Linex and Guadalinex. The discussion will include how the free software community may participate and/or benefit from that process and will be of interest to developers and decision-makers from distributions in Spain.

Convergence Problems

Session Guideline

Intro: Mako There are lots of distributions and derived distributions. This gives problems. We would like to talk to you what ideas you have how we could solve these.

Political Problems

There are many politically related problems. After some discussion we came up with the following list:

  • Respect to standards.
  • Restrictions
    • Political requirements for distributions, eg not be allowed to talk about something.
  • Constituencies responsibleness
    • Dead-lines differences
    • Priorities and audience
    • Lack of resources
  • Language and L10n issues
    • Cultural differences
    • Local language preference, this will only get 'worse'
  • Lack of collaboration and communication
    • political
    • technical, eg 'Not invented here'.
  • No formal presence meetings
    • geographical distances / time-zone problems
  • Anti-virus (bureaucracy)

Technical Problems

  • Compatibility.
  • Flavors in distributions.
    • Different clients: schools, universities etc
    • Differences in configuration based on clients needs.
    • Applications.
    • Different software platforms

All this while still be the same distribution:

  • Infrastructure / platform.
  • Language + communication with developers , bridging between developers.
  • Work happening in different places / distributions.
  • Different hardware platforms
    • Older computers
    • Thin clients
    • Something besides i386
    • Embedded systems
  • Bugs sharing
  • Needs sharing
  • Dead-lines differences
  • Branding
    • Names of applications
    • Different delivering mechanisms (Live-CD, install CD, tape etc)
    • Different installers - Livecd, Anaconda, Debian Installer
  • Binary compatibility
  • Managing large scale installations
  • Back and Sideway merging of changes
  • Release schedules and dates
  • Maintaining translations
  • Accessibility issues

Fundamental challenges: Being able to check sideway differences in software. For example see the Linux kernel.

Classes of Technical problems

types of changes:

  1. Selection - Different packages shipped
  2. Configuration - Same software but set up differently
  3. Code changes and diversions - Modified packages
  4. Distro / install - different presentations of the same software

A Few Solutions

  1. Common technologies/platform
    • We all just stop using the same thing.
    • Agreeing to use the same technology.
  2. Shared code repository
    • problems in a different repository
    • common configuration systems
    • common package selection systems
    • work upstream with Debian
  3. branching and merging magic
  4. Revision control tools
  5. Standardize development practices
  6. Collaborative development
  7. Branding infrastructure
  8. Arbitrators
  9. Coordinated releases, piggyback on security-updates
    • Ubuntu and Kubuntu already have this problem.
    • Different sets of packages with different releases
    • Tools for collaboratively tracking security bugs - In Ubuntu we use Malone to unite and track security updates with Ubuntu and Kubuntu.

  10. Agree on a common core.
  11. Join the Debian custom-list - jdub: There will be a BOF on this on Monday

Bitkeeper changed the way the kernel is being developed. The closest thing in open-source is Arch. We want to build a tool that solves branching and merging problems with a revision control tool. We do not have the tool yet.

For example in X the changes are huge, 100.000 of changes in Debian, probably Redhat has the same.

It would be possible with the right tools to work both horizontal and vertical in the same time.

What would be easier pushing or pulling patches? Sideways pull, Upstream push / or both push and pull.

MataroSessionsWorkshops/CollaborationAndConvergence (last edited 2008-08-06 16:36:13 by localhost)