[Exherbo-dev] Goals for Exherbo

Bryan Østergaard bryan.ostergaard at gmail.com
Sun Aug 17 23:54:49 BST 2008

Hi all.

A few developers had a bit of discussion the other day regarding our
goals. So we pretty much came up with a list of all the short term
goals we could think think of. Short term goals pretty much being
anything we still need before reaching a state where we're comfortable
with users testing Exherbo and beginning to play around with it a bit

The list we came up with includes small as well as big things and we
haven't prioritised them at all but I'd welcome comments on it. Things
I've accidentally left out, features that we forgot in the course of
discussion, stupid things that shouldn't be on the list and so on.

Anyway, here it is in no particular order - I've added some comments
but mostly I assume some intimacy with Exherbo development and the
ideas already floating around.

* Multilib/arch/ABI/..
  - spb has done some work on this months ago in the form of mockup
exheres and some documentation.

* exheres-1
  - I don't want to stable exheres before we get close to opening
Exherbo for general testing. Defining a stable exheres-1 format is
cheap but I don't see any real benefits of it at this moment and I
don't want us having to bother with possible compatibility issues
between exheres-* formats yet.
  - I expect exheres-1 to look very much like current exheres-0 +
whatever changes is needed for multi* and genesis however.

* Genesis
  - I've generally been too busy to work on Genesis but I'll see if I
can change that somehow as Genesis is likely one of the biggest things
still missing.
  - The video of my presentation on Genesis was recently made
available on http://mirrors.dotsrc.org/blivklogere/foss_aalborg/2008/a_Linux_distribution_is_born--Bryan_Oestergaard--english--FOSS_Aalborg.mp4.

* Gnome and KDE
  - Looks like both are well on their way due to the tireless work of
a few developers. The commit stats (and CIA spam in #exherbo) clearly
shows the massive amount of work being done lately.

* Categories/tags
  - Categories solves some problems fairly well but doesn't solve
other important problems at all. We've had several discussions about
possible solutions on irc as well as this mailing list without any
real solutions so far. I'm still hoping that we'll eventually find a
solution that we can all agree solves the problems. More discussions
are probably needed on this.

* Alternatives implementation
  - We need a way to select between multiple versions of python, perl,
gcc and so on. I think I sketched out the requirements for this on
this mailing list a long time ago and believe somebody is working on
implementing it. Anybody remember the details and know the current
status of this?

* Better -scm handling
  - < ciaranm> better -scm handling is the 'rewrite to -scm at ID' stuff
  - Ciaran seems to have a good idea about where this needs to go.

* Better autotools handling
  - Right now we've more or less just grabbed the autotools stuff from
Gentoo but we should be able to do better
  - autotools.exlib might need a complete rewrite
  - We need to hash out how to handle autotools properly. Documenting
it would be quite nice as well.

* Parts
  - Basic idea described at
but needs to be defined properly.

* Native support for CPAN, Gems and other similar package repositories
  - This will most likely save us from writing and maintaining quite a
few exheres.
  - We might be able to index some of these external repositories for

* We still need a few exheres for various stuff used by Exherbo servers.
  - Somebody should make a list of what's missing.

* Creandus
  - Keeping track of users added by packages
  - Creandus solves this nicely but haven't been completely
implemented afaik and might need adjustments for Exherbo (It
originated as a Google Code of Summer project for Gentoo).

  - This should help us keep track of new upstream versions easier.

* Central list of wanted packages
  - Bug #16 may or may not be useful for tracking this.

* Decent way to build install CDs
  - We want something much simpler than other distributions but a
scripted way to quickly create install CDs would be nice

* Binary packages
  - We need pbin-1+exheres-0 or similar for this

* Reference packages
  - Somewhat related to install CDs and binary packages this would be
used during installation

* Working annotations
  - Not sure what's broken/working wrt. annotations but somebody needs
to find out

* New website?
  - Some work has been done related to this but much is still needed.

* Distfiles mirror
  - We need to mirror distfiles to prevent problems when upstream
removes or changes distfiles.
  - Using git for distfiles mirroring looks like an interesting idea.
  - We need to decide what to do for mirroring.

* Need to decide on a documentation format
  - Markdown seems to solve most of our documentation needs but
there's other alternatives as well.
  - We should probably decide on this soon'ish if possible.

* Better way to document options

* Better descriptions in general
  - Not sure how to solve this but longterm we might want a QA'ish
project for documentation that can kick developers when they describe
options as "Add perl" and similar nonsense.

* Sane way to build external kernel modules
  - We don't really want distribution provided kernel sources but we
still need some support for building external kernel modules.

* BUGS_TO support
  - Something like: BUGS_TO="http://bugs.exherbo.org/ [[ assign = [
rbrown at exherbo.org ] cc = [ ahf at exherbo.org ] component = [ exhereses
] ]]

* pkg_die
  - Would allow package specific "debug" information information when
packages dies.
  - A good example is showing which opengl provider is currently
selected when a package building against opengl dies.

* New profiles structure / format
  - The current profiles are more or less direct copies of Gentoo
profiles and doesn't suit our ideas very well.
  - One idea is mixins but we need to discuss profiles in more details
before making any big changes.
  - Versioned profiles might be nice as well.

Bryan Østergaard

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