[packman] OBS 2.x and new repository layout

Pascal Bleser pascal.bleser at opensuse.org
Fri Dec 31 00:27:12 CET 2010

Dear Packmans :)
(I'm putting the discussion on the public list to give our users a
chance to give their input/preferences as well)

Detlef was so kind to set up a new (and fresh) OBS 2.1 instance (it's on
another server, the currently running OBS 1.7 instance on pmbs is still
up & running until we switch).

To make our lives easier, we decided that we'll migrate the packages
manually, one by one, instead of attempting a server-side migration.
We will lose package history but that's not really much of a problem

The other reason we want to make it manually is that we have a (rare)
chance of setting up a new project layout, as the current one has
several deficiencies.

So, right now, we need to discuss what we'd like to have.

Whatever the option, one thing we will definitely do is to enable 11.1,
11.2 and 11.3 on project-level, hence on all the packages, instead of
having to enable them on every single package as we have it now (which
is really a pain in the ...). That's also how it's managed on
build.opensuse.org, by exception (disable those you don't want to build
or, rather, those that don't work).

Option 1: all-in-one
The first option is to have all the packages in a single OBS project, as
we have right now in "main_pm", which we also result in a single, big
packman package repository for users.

+ users just need to add a single repository
- users have no granularity, it's one big repository with everything
  (codecs, multimedia, random updated packages)
- more difficult for us to select a subset of "essential" packages for a
  "minimal packman" (i.e. codecs and multimedia), e.g. for Factory and

Option 2: divide and conquer
The other extreme is to split the set of packages into several
projects (and, hence repositories) to enable users to pick what they
want to have, e.g.:
* codecs
* multimedia
* games
* stuff

Of course, and OBS gives us the ability of doing so, we'll have
dependencies between those projects/repositories, like a "layering":

     .^ ^.
    /     \
  games  stuff
+ users can pick what they want from Packman, e.g. only the codecs and
  the multimedia stuff
+ easier for us to enable a minimal set of things for Factory and SLE
  (we just need to enable Factory and SLE11 on codecs and multimedia)
- the users who want everything from Packman will need to add more than
  one repository (arguably, that's already how it works with

Option 3: debianista
Another approach to "several projects/repos" could also be to split into
stable and unstable or, rather, to freeze the versions of codecs and
multimedia packages with every openSUSE release (and only update on
critical bugfixes and security issues).

+ users only need to add one or two repositories and won't get updates
  all the time, which will most probably give them a better experience
  regarding stability
+ OBS can help us, by using links on revisions (from unstable to stable)
- potentially more work for us, as it is easier to just bump the version
  to the latest than having to only do it when there are security issues
  (we will always update to the latest version for the "unstable"
  repository/repositories anyway)

Other options: anything in-between, or combinations thereof.

Ideas, preferences ?

  -o) Pascal Bleser <pascal.bleser at opensuse.org>
  /\\ http://opensuse.org -- I took the green pill
 _\_v FOSDEM XI: 5 + 6 Feb 2011, http://fosdem.org
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