Message: previous - next
Month: November 2014

Re: [trinity-users] q4os

From: "E. Liddell" <ejlddll@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2014 08:15:49 -0500
On Sat, 1 Nov 2014 21:30:24 -0500
"Timothy Pearson" <kb9vqf@...> wrote:

> > Unfortunately, the most complete set of Trinity packages for Gentoo
> > ( ) is somewhat out of date.  Tweaking
> > the ebuild version numbers may be enough to let most packages build,
> > though.
> >
> > In general, the continued existence of the (increasingly broken)
> > kde-sunset
> > overlay complicates Trinity's status with respect to Gentoo.
> Is there anything we can do to fix the kde-sunset problem, for example by
> providing a non-broken overlay for TDE?  I don't know enough about Gentoo
> to comment intelligently here, but if kde-sunset still exists then there
> must be some demand for TDE bottled up over there?

Gentoo's general philosophy is that choice is a Good Thing, so the overlay
would probably not be unwelcome.  The trick is getting it into the official
list.  This is far from impossible, but the documentation for doing it seems 
to have moved without leaving a forwarding address, so it might require 
contacting #gentoo-portage or the dev mailing list directly.  Whatever
overlay we produced would end up being offered in addition to kde-sunset
rather than replacing it (that's just how the system works), but there's nothing 
intrinsically wrong with that.

The only thing you need to host an overlay is a version control system,
and we've got that covered.

Now, let me back up and explain a bit more about Gentoo for
anyone who may be reading this over our shoulders:

Gentoo is a rolling-release, source-based distribution that allows the
user to select build options.  With only a handful of exceptions, all
packages are compiled on the user's machine.  The Gentoo package
format--the ebuild--is unique to Gentoo and a few of its descendants,
and consists of a bash shell script containing build instructions to be
interpreted with the assistance of the package manager.  Really, it's
a specialized programming language built on top of a bash + python

Gentoo also has a bunch of other quirks involving directory structure
and such--probably not that many more than some other distributions,
but they all have to be accounted for.  Ebuilds can involve directory moves, 
patches, sed, and more.

Outside package repositories in Gentoo are known as overlays, and
are managed through a tool called layman.  There's a semi-official list of
overlays (the layman registry) that includes everything from developers' 
private playgrounds to entire descendant distributions.  Getting an 
overlay onto that list is a key factor in making users aware that it exists.


Thankfully, we already have ebuilds for the bulk of Trinity, even if
they are slightly dated, and getting most of them working for V14
really is likely to be just a matter of renaming the ebuild files, which
include the version number as a matter of course.  (This assumes that
the source tarball naming convention stays consistent--but even if
it doesn't, that's a fairly straightforward one-line tweak.)

The exceptions will be any packages that moved from autotools to cmake 
after Fat-Zer's last ebuild for said package.  Those will have to be redone, 
and I'm not sure we have anyone adequate to the task.  I don't think we 
have any other Gentoo users active on our dev-list right  now, and my ebuild 
skills are so-so at best--I specialize in the wrong programming languages
and have a limited understanding of the C/C++ build toolchain.  Which is 
why my packaging attempt back in the day fell flat.  Fat-Zer seems to have 
done at least some of the work that was beyond my capacity, but I'm not 
sure how complete it is.

When KDE3 was still in Gentoo's main package hierarchy, it was
maintained by the KDE herd, which I believe typically has 10-12
members.  The reason kde-sunset's been bit-rotting to the point that
some packages are no longer compilable is the lack of a core group
of maintainers--given the sheer number of packages involved, one
or two people just aren't enough.  And I don't think most of the
kde-sunset users remaining are at all knowledgeable about ebuild
development, or the overlay wouldn't have deteriorated so much.

(In other words, the problem with creating an overlay is going to be
maintaining it properly.)

On the bright side, supporting Gentoo adds no extra load to the build
farm, and if we can get things together well enough to provide
live ebuilds (pulling directly from the git source) in addition to stable
ones, we might get a few more testers.  We might also get some interest 
from some of the rarer architectures KDE3 used to be able to run on 
(alpha, mips, ppc, Itanium . . .), since they are officially supported by
Gentoo, meaning that there are Gentoo developers and users who have 
the needed test hardware.

If we are going to do this, I suggest concentrating on the actual TDE
packages and a handful of the most popular third-party applications
(amaroK, K3B, kaffeine to start with) and adding other third-party 
software by request.  That's still ~100 packages, I think, since the
core packages are split into individual applications with their own

E. Liddell