[arch-general] abs [WAS: arch-dev-public] Package maintainers wanted - heimdal, db, abs

C Anthony Risinger anthony at extof.me
Sun Nov 14 08:04:15 CET 2010

On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 6:30 PM, Allan McRae <allan at archlinux.org> wrote:
> On 14/11/10 03:23, C Anthony Risinger wrote:
>> On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 12:35 AM, Ray Rashif<schiv at archlinux.org>  wrote:
>>> PKGBUILDs don't get multiple commits by multiple
>>> contributors to the extent software projects do, where GIT would make
>>> sense.
>> they will in time my friend, if i get my way :-) this is a goal i am
>> actively pursuing.  git makes sense in all capacities; you don't need
>> to be a kernel or display server to realize the extent it can simplify
>> your development life.  i use it every day.  it rocks.
> We have massive git proponents on the development team and even they admit
> that SVN fits our needs for package management far better than git.

in what other ways besides the below?

> The major issue is checking out an individual folder/package which is very
> annoying to do in git.  Yes, I know it can be done in some hackish way, but
> with SVN that works out of the box.  Or we could take the Fedora approach of
> one repo per package (lets just say no to that...).

hmm, yes, as git ultimately tracks only a single tree object per
commit, this object is usually the top level tree for the entire
project.  however, there are some solutions:

) submodules, the obvious but cumbersome case

) sparse checkout in 1.7.0.  there are a couple gotchas IIRC... you
still need to pull the whole repo, or a depth of it.  additionally,
the full path to the directory would be used on checkout (and i dont
know if SVN does this, i'm not as fluent there)

) use multiple repos :-), but with a small hook that updates a master
repo containing all packages.  use a shared object cache

) place all packages into their own branch, with independent history
(ie. different origin commits or a common "null" origin).  this is my

the latter could be useful, specifically because packages do not cross
over with each other (they are all independent "directories", now and

ponder this (branch names within a single repo):


`README` will be the default branch; it will contain instructions on
how to work with the repository.  anyone cloning the repo would see
this first, and only this.  `master` is all repositories, all
packages.  `core`, `extra`, etc. are each their respective
repositories, and all respective packages.  the remaining are
individual packages.

now, you could just clone the repo, and get everything (equivalent of
a "super" ABS)... or, you could do targeted fetches to get only a
single package.  you could use the same fetch to pull any particular
repo.  checking out `master` yields a directory full of repos -- full
of packages.  checking out a repo yields a a directory full of
packages.  checking out a package yields only that package, no excess
structures or directories.

exporting one of the package branches, at any revision, would produce
an installable package.

all this would need to work is a simple post-receive hook to perform a
sync between master, the repo branches, and package branches.  this is
bi-directional (you could update from any branch, and changes would
propagate to the correct places).  all that is required in the "up"
direction is to read the tree from updated packages, merge the SHA1s
into the trees for appropriate repo branches, and last merge all
updated trees into the master branch.  in the down direction, you
would read the top-level tree, pull the SHA1 for changed directories
(which correspond to a named branch), and update.  git has the tools
to do this easily, and could be done using (possibly multiple for
efficiency) index files (an inefficient working copy not needed).

i actually think it would be a very simple hook; i could probably whip
it up soonish if this sounds interesting.  the only other thing you
might need is a tiny pre-receive hook to drop a lock file, and deny
others until the sync is complete (rare), just in case.

is this what your describing?  i wrote more than i meant to, but
meh...  imo, none of the options are hackish; i think they just fine,
detailing git's flexible nature, with the last being particularly
elegant.  git gives you the tools to think up your own design + flow,
without binding you to any predetermined methods.

> Also, we do not need "fancy" stuff like branching and hooks etc.  The
> current system works very well.  We would need some major motivation to
> switch and there is nothing that even makes me remotely think a switch is
> worth it.

i'm sure the current system does work well, and probably will continue
to do so for some time.  one thing i've noted, is none of the
shortcomings with git i have ever encountered (including the above)
have anything to do with the data model; they are nothing but
limitations in the top level UI, or the protocol.

for example, i wish shallow repos were much more functional (sparse
checkouts could be truly sparse [like SVN i think]).  i also wish i
could fetch a SHA1 range from a remote, or a single SHA1 and all

anyway, in my particular case (the "if i get my way" comment :-), my
package manager/distribution system i like to sink hours into is not
even capable of a singular point; it is to expect that everyone can
contribute from anywhere, and all peers are equal.  _you_ decide which
peers are significant to you; in this respect, every user gets to
choose their own devs and TU's, and effectively build their own

C Anthony

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