[Exherbo-dev] Exherbo goals

Bryan Østergaard bryan.ostergaard at gmail.com
Fri May 15 23:28:45 BST 2009

It's been quite a while since the last Goals mail so lots of exciting
things have happened since then. Partly because of the timespan I've
decided to reorganise this mail a bit compared to earlier editions,
first listing some of the bigger things we've accomplished and then
listing things we should be focusing on in the future. I hope this
format shows our progress better and also helps focus a bit more on
things to do.

Stuff implemented since last goals mail:
I'm only going to mention some of the larger / more visible things
here. There's lots of smaller things being done on a daily basis and
overall I consider our progress quite good.

* distfiles mirror
 - Kim Hansen (kimrhh) set up a distfiles mirror at
http://distfiles.exherbo.org that's been working quite well so far.

* Creandus
 - Creandus is replaced by built-in package manager support for
installing users and groups. It works much like other packages in that
you can define dependencies on users and groups.

* Script for building virtual machine images
 - I've recently published my kvm image building script which allows
everybody to build their own images instead of having to wait for me
to update the official images. Work on the script continues and mostly
thanks to the work of Sterling X. Winter it's much cleaner and much
improved already. It should be fairly simple to add an ISO target to
the script to build basic install CDs.

* Webbased package browser
 - Ciaran implemted Summer, currently available on
http://dev.exherbo.org/~ciaranm/summer/index.html. It should be moved
to http://summer.exherbo.org soon.

* New website
 - I took some time to clean up our website and reorganise things a
bit. With the new design and architecture of the website I've also
invited users to contribute documentation which quickly led to a
simple i  nstall guide and a short Exherbo FAQ, contributed by
Jonathan Dahan.

* Common documentation format
 - All our documentation should be in MarkDown format now (more
precisely the Maruku variant).

* Added license information wherever it was missing
 - Some of our documentation and scripts didn't have copyright and
license information. This should be fixed now but please contact me if
you spot any license problems.

* Lots of package updates and additions
 - We're very quick to add new package versions to the repositories
and patches from users are most often pushed at an incredible speed.
We're now at a very respectable 1200+ packages and still growing
fairly quickly.

Goals or things that still need some work:
* Multilib/arch/ABI/..
 - Some tests was done but we still have some unresolved problems.
Lots of interest in this subject so I'm quite hopeful that somebody is
going to pick this up again.

* Genesis
 - I've been doing lots of actual work on this and it's changed
direction a fair bit because of that work. It's currently hosted in a
private git repository but I'm hoping to open it a bit more in the
near fu  ture. Genesis is currently my main priority.

* Killing categories
 - There's a half-baked plan for killing categories so that'll happen
in due time.

* Cleaning up arbor
 - Arbor is a somewhat special repository being our main repository
and also the repository that base systems gets installed from. But
being the main repository also means that lots of smaller packages
ends u  p in arbor when we have no better place to put them. From time
to time it makes sense to clean up arbor a bit and move some of these
packages out to topic repositories instead. Arkanoid recently started
this   process by mailing exherbo-dev with a list of packages that
should be moved or at least deserves some consideration.

* Better -scm handling (-scm at ID stuff)
 - Not done afaik.

* Better autotools handling
 - I still like to take a look at the way we handle autotools and see
if it can be improved. We've inherited a few odd things from Gentoo at
least that I'm not particularly fond of.

* Parts
 - Still just at the idea stage. We need to figure out if this should
still be a goal.

* Native support for CPAN, Gems and other similar package repositories
 - There's been a few discussions from time to time on how to handle
various problems with upstream indexes. I believe the current idea is
that it's possible to implement (in many cases at least) but some of
the problems require upstream fixes or non-trivial hacks on our side
(building our own index for example).

* Sane way to build external kernel modules
 - This subject comes up from time to time. We need to specify the
requirements before we can implement support for external kernel

* 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.
 - This is still in the pipeline afaik.

* 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.

* Replace sandbox
 - sys-apps/sandbox have a number of problems that's not easily
solved. Ali Polatel (alip) has written a new sandbox implementation
called Sydbox for use in Exherbo and I believe it's at a point where
we can   start testing it on real systems to get a bit wider testing.

* RepositoryRepository
 - Some people don't like adding new repositories to their paludis
configuration manually so we need to implement features for managing
repositories through paludis. We've decided to do this by implementing
RepositoryRepository which is going to be a repository describing the
available repositories and letting users do things like: paludis
--install repository/x11.

Bryan Østergaard

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