[packman] OBS 2.x and new repository layout

oldcpu oldcpu at opensuse-forums.org
Fri Dec 31 12:22:42 CET 2010

This is a subject a bit 'dear' to my openSUSE use, as I've always held
the view that the packages packaged by the Packman packagers was
possibly the main reason why I have remained with openSUSE all these years.

I am VERY grateful to the efforts of the 3rd party packagers who package
for openSUSE, and in particular to those who belong to the Packman
packager group.

My preferences as a somewhat selfish user (in order of preference from
what I would like the most, to the least) would be:

Option-3 : debianista

Option-1 : all-in-one

Option-2 :  divide and conquer

Having stated the above, I am concerned "Option-3" might make the work
load such that the packaging suffers from a quantity perspective, and so
Option-3 could easily be 2nd priority to Option-1 in my books.

I am concerned that our user base (not our packager, I mean our user
base) is not knowledgeable enough to implement the repositories in the
Option-2 approach, despite the best/superb efforts of our packagers to
make it easy for them. Hence I'm not in favour of Option-2.  I like the
big "all-in-one" repository approach.

aka oldcpu

On 12/31/2010 12:27 AM, Pascal Bleser wrote:
> 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
> (IMHO).
> 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.
> Pros:
> + users just need to add a single repository
> Cons:
> - 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
>   SLE
> 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":
>      codecs
>        ^
>        |
>    multimedia
>      .^ ^.
>     /     \
>   games  stuff
> Pros:
> + 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)
> Cons:
> - the users who want everything from Packman will need to add more than
>   one repository (arguably, that's already how it works with
>   download.opensuse.org)
> 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).
> Pros:
> + 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)
> Cons:
> - 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 ?
> cheers
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