[arch-dev-public] Status Report: 2007-11-05

Aaron Griffin aaronmgriffin at gmail.com
Mon Nov 5 19:51:29 EST 2007

ArchLinux Status Report, 2007-11-05
   Aaron Griffin (Reviewed by Travis Willard)

So, some of you may have noticed there was no Status Report last week. Well,
see, I got busy. No one to blame but myself. I _was_ going to get it out on
Tuesday, but decided to "roll with it", as it were.

So, before we get started, I wanted to get some honest opinions - does doing
this every 2 weeks make you guys feel less pestered?

One important thing to note: for anyone looking for "something to do", the
reason I list a lot of thing here is that I feel we should get them done. If
you're looking for things to do, I'd appreciate it if you took a look at this
list to see if there's something you can tackle.

== Newsworthy Items ==

* New Logo Competition has begun!

The competition for the new Arch logo, spearheaded by Travis, has begun. Full
details can be found in this news item:


* New Newsletter Format

Eduardo Romero (kensai) has taken over doing our newsletter, and has changed the
format and content. Take a look, and let him know what you think - I, for one,
think it's great. Thanks a lot for all the effort Eduardo, and congrats on
making a great new new style and layout!

== Completed Tasks ==

* Latest ISO Testing

The upcoming 2007.11 ISOs have been in testing for some time now.


No new show-stoppers have been reported, so I believe we should have new ISOs
when Tobias returns from his exams. Yay!

* New devtools release

This is for all the developers and TUs. We've included a few new features, and
two new scripts, in the latest devtools release. Please report any problems or
feature requests on the bug tracker.

* Xorg 7.3 out of testing

Xorg 7.3 has been in testing for about a month now. It's time to move it out


Thanks go out, of course, to Alex for making this happen.

* Code projects moved to git

All our code projects have officially been moved to our git repos, located at


Special thanks to Dan, Simo, and Eliott for carving up CVS and SVN
repos to create nice
little subsets for specific projects.

* cvsup is dead. Long live csup.

We've officially replaced cvsup (used by ABS) with csup. There are a handful of
reasons, but the biggest one is that cvsup does not compile on x86_64.

Thanks to Dan for actually making the move and testing it.

* slocate has been replaced by mlocate

This has been a long time coming. mlocate is a locate/updatedb implementation
that uses a different method of updating the locate database, making it much
faster on successive runs. This means your machine isn't going to grind to a
halt every night at around midnight, heh.

Thanks goes out to James for pushing this one through here, good job.

== Pending Tasks, Short Term ==

* QT4 Move

Pierre has proposed a migration plan for moving to QT4.


This appears to be straightforward, so we should get to this soon! Hooray for

* Killing off of /opt

According to Jan, the last remaining apps we have in /opt (KDE, OpenOffice, and
Mozilla/Firefox) can be safely moved out of /opt and into the /usr tree like
everything else.

Moving binaries and things out of /opt is going to remove a lot of headache
we've had in the past. So for anyone who maintains a package that installs to
/opt, see if you can get it to install in /usr instead.

* Core rebuild

Our core rebuild, due to toolchain changes, is currently waiting for testing to
empty. For those developers that have packages sitting in testing, please either
try to push them up to the real repo, or remove them from testing if they are

Andy has started cleanup threads for most of these packages. Please check here
to see if you own any of these packages:


* License Updates

Travis has created us a _HUGE_ todolist of packages with broken licenses. Please
take a look at it and see if you can close out any packages you currently own.


Keep in mind that this list contains ONLY packages in the [extra] repo. This
means it will not affect the core repo rebuild, but may be affected by the
Package Cleanup.

* The dividing line: extra and community

Another discussion that has gone by the wayside.  I'll try to summarize here to
see if we can a better idea.

The question: when does a package belong in extra?

We all agree that we need some sort of "rule" for this. There seems to be two
big ideas on how to "answer" this question:

a) Split extra into "mantle" and "crust". Mantle contains packages "important to
the distro" to be agreed upon by the developers, and crust contains anything
else a developer wants to maintain.

b) The idea above remains the same, BUT extra is not split at all. The "mantle"
packages go to extra, and "crust" packages go to community.

So, what do you guys think? Should we vote on these two to get things moving?

* Package and Orphan Cleanup

Eric has done an amazing job of cleaning up a big wave of packages from extra.
All things considered, this is fairly important task, as is affects the
"Dividing line" question above, as well as lightening our workload.

Eric, what is the next step here - how can we help?

* DVD and Additional Package ISO Lists

Still not even a peep from people. This is the last time I'm going to include
this item on the list. If we don't get any sort of activity or discussion on
this, I am going to consider the matter closed.

The question: do we want to distribute additional DVDs/CDs full of packages? If
so, how do we define what packages are on these things?

* Unified chroot build tools

The new devtools release has pushed two of these tools out there: mkarchroot,
for creating ArchLinux based chroots, and makechrootpkg, for running makepkg
inside one of these chroots.

Currently, there are a few little bugs floating around, but feel free to report

The next step is to move to official usage here, so for you developers out
there, PLEASE contact me if you have any problems - we should all be building
packages in clean chroots to make sure hidden dependencies do not sneak into the
packages, and I want to make these tools as easy to use as possible.

* DB Scripts Code to git

With our SCM backend changing, the DB Scripts rewrite task is no
longer a big deal.
What we _do need_, however, is our existing code moved out of CVS (and into git,
in an ideal world). This way we can use these as examples as we create new
scripts for working with our new SCM layout.

== Pending Tasks, Long Term ==

* Perl policy

I've moved this one to the long-term section


Apparently, perl isn't very widely cared about, so this is mostly all up to me,
and we all know my freetime is hard to find these days. So, this is on the "hey
this is important" list, but there is no rush.

* Getting rid of CVS

Last time we visted this, we had two potential implementations. The complexity
here has to do with representing one package in many repos at the same time.
_This_ is the problem that is solved by CVS tags that we need to redefine

Jason gave us an example svn implementation that used the following structure:


Where each directory under repos/ is a new repository that contains a PKGBUILD
and all supplemental files that are routinely "synced" with the master files (in
the top level directory).

Dan gave us a git implementation that uses a similar structure, but uses git's
"lightweight branches" in place of the repos/ directory. This also allows us to
create rebuild branches and the like very easily. Here is a usage example:

    git checkout -b foo_rebuild
    git commit -a


    git checkout -b testing
    git commit -a

The branch names above indicate a new repo, which contain only packages that are
changed in the new branch.

So, I leave the floor open here - what do you guys think? Which is a better
solution? I want to open this up to opinion and vote _real_ soon, as this is
something we've talked about for so long it's becoming near mythical.

* Pacman 3.1 Release


Ah, another stagnating task. We've gotten some great patch contributions from
the community, and Dan has been rocking with the pacman changes.

We'd love to see more testers out there testing the version from git, and
possibly confirming some of the "Requires Testing" bugs on the above, so we can
close them out.

* Official pacbuild usage

We have an official git repo for pacbuild sitting here:

The news here is small, again. Last I heard, Jason is planning on incorporating
the new 'mkarchroot' tool from devtools into pacbuild. Anything else, I am
unsure of.

Jason, would you mind informing us on what needs to be done to get pacbuild
running somewhere? I'd like to do _something_ here before this becomes

* Modernize our Dashboard

Ok, we've made some steps. We now have our web code up here:

I plan on filling out the README as far as running your own instance goes.

>From there, I'd like people to add any and all dashboard related requests to the
"Internal Dev" bug tracker, so we can begin closing them out.

* Architecture Independent Repos

Roman has provided us patches for makepkg on the pacman-dev list. That's step
one. The next step is to modify our DB scripts to check for the proper suffix,
and run itself for both the i686 and x86_64 repos.

This one is a rather small change, is anyone interested in doing this? Thomas?

* ArchCon 2009: Big Baaad Idea


ArchCon is still floating here at the bottom of the list...but it looks like no
one is interested anymore. That's sad. No one wants to come visit lil ol' me?

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