.next for PND packagers


_wb_

Microbe
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Obviously it's nice if PNDs keep working across the different releases of the OS, even if they rely on certain packages or libs. On the other hand, NAND space is limited so it is not feasible to just "keep growing", never removing or replacing components of the OS.


So perhaps we can use this thread to discuss how to make sure that PND packagers know what will be there in the future.


I suggest to flag the components with labels that indicate the certainty that they will stay in .next and future releases. This allows PND packagers to check whether it is likely that the PND will keep working, decide what libraries to use (in case there are several alternatives that can do the job), or even include stuff even though it currently is already there, just to make things future-proof. This is not just about libraries, also things like pre-installed fonts, locations of files, organization of /proc and /sys, etc.


E.g., we could have the following categories:


- green: this will always stay, and even if the upstream version would become backwards-incompatible, we'll keep including the old version for compatibility. For example, things like libc and probably SDL would be in this category.


- yellow: this will stay, but at some point we might upgrade to a backwards-incompatible version and you'll have to rewrite, recompile or otherwise adjust your application.


- orange: this is currently in the release, but it is unlikely that it will remain for a long time; we're seriously considering alternatives. However, the general functionality provided by this component will stay in one way or another.


- red: it is highly unlikely that this component will be in future releases: if we need to make room for new stuff, this is one of the first things that will go.


Would this be a useful thing to do?
 

_wb_

Microbe
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Why not? If there's a good reason why the above does not make sense, feel free to remove this thread, but I would like to get a slightly more elaborate explanation than just "no".
 

steveway

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I don't work on .next so I'm not really qualified to comment on this but I believe I can guess why.


.next is supposed to be mostly compatible with the current Angstrom so if upstream Angstrom decides that library A has to go then it will be gone too in .next and so on.
 

aTc

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We do need a list of essential packages worth including in the core image, and some extra "nice to have" bits thrown in, but no need to label everything in different categories and locking stuff down to specific versions.


A lot of the problems can be avoided anyway, if people behaved slightly more like maintainers, instead of just dumping a pnd on the repo and abandoning it.
 

_wb_

Microbe
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Well, it would be good to know what is considered essential and what is just "nice to have" but can be removed at any time. It is true that anything can avoided by updating PNDs to include whatever has been removed, but it is annoying for users if they have to upgrade PNDs just to keep them working, without getting new features. And it is probably unavoidable that some people will abandon PNDs after dumping them on the repo (although perhaps we need to list those and find new maintainers for them).
 

aTc

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it's not more annoying than downloading updates for any other distro.


Even less with tools like pndmanager, which will be included in the image.


And as for the "would be good to know what is considered essential", feel free to dig through all available pnds and find out which libs they depend on.
 

_wb_

Microbe
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Could somebody write a script that checks for all PND's on the repo which libs they depend on? (just return the output of ldd on each executable). Combined with the download statistics for each PND, that should give a pretty good idea of what is essential and what is not.


Of course there's other things than just libraries: e.g. I assume some fonts are available in /usr/share/fonts, etc. But libraries is probably the most important thing, so it would be interesting to have such statistics...
 
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