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Subject: Re: Packaging for Debian/Ubuntu

Re: Packaging for Debian/Ubuntu

From: Dominik Riebeling <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 23:37:26 +0200

On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 6:34 PM, Antony
Stone<> wrote:
> On Friday 10 July 2009 17:17, Shahar Or wrote:
>> How about having your own package archive which gets updated when you
>> see fit (e.g. with each release)?

I can see good reasons for that, though it adds additional work.
Someone needs to know how to do that (for myself I have no idea how to
create a debian package) *and* maintain the package. If someone wants
to to this I don't see a reason to reject it.

> Isn't it better for users to upgrade when they want to, rather than when the
> Rockbox project thinks they should?

Well, yes and no. Rockbox Utility is some kind of work in progress,
and we also add additional features. Some of those new features (one
example would be the themes site integration) *requires* a recent
version of Rockbox Utility. Which makes me want the users to use a
recent version, which also means I'd like them to update as soon as a
new release has been made. Even with distribution packages users don't
need to update that specific package until they want to.

> What's the advantage of a distribution package, instead of what's already on
> the Rockbox site, which is distribution independent?

I can see a few advantages:
- A distribution package doesn't need to link Qt / libusb statically,
thus the download is smaller
- A static binary doesn't work with Qt styles the user installed
himself. I have a setup that uses QtCurve instead of the (linux)
default Plastique. With the static binary neither of them is used but
the system picks a different one (Windows? Not sure which it is),
which doesn't fit into my system style and by itself looks butt-ugly.
If you remember the rockboxcenter project: one of the complaints of
those people was Rockbox Utility looking ugly on Ubuntu. I don't know
what binary they used, but it could be related to this effect.
- Given that we provide a repository for apt / whatever, updating is
much easier as I don't need to manually download something and extract
it manually -- just tell the package manager to update that package
and you're done.

In short, I do see advantages in providing distribution packages,
though I don't see anyone who volunteered for actually making it. I
considered creating Fedora packages in the past (as that's the
distribution I'm using) but haven't found the time to do so. A Gentoo
ebuild has been contributed to the wiki though it seems to be out of
date, thus falling into the "unmaintained" category from my point of

 - Dominik
Received on 2009-07-10

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