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[Debian-sf-devel] Re: Return of the Jedi

From: Roland Mas
Subject: [Debian-sf-devel] Re: Return of the Jedi
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 2002 18:43:52 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.090008 (Oort Gnus v0.08) Emacs/21.2 (i386-debian-linux-gnu)

  Hi Steve,

I'm Roland Mas, a Debian developer.  Your "Return of the Jedi" article
about Gforge on the O'Reilly Network[1] has recently been brought to
my attention.  While I appreciate any publicity made to Free software
and its authors, I also appreciate when credit is given where it's
due, and when information is accurate.

  Hence my few bits of "complements":

- You quote Tim as saying "Since VA has not released the source in
  over one year, despite their promises to the contrary, a fork was
  necessary to ensure a viable open source version of the codebase."
  It might be interesting not to hide the fact that Tim first wanted
  to rewrite all of Sourceforge from scratch in Java.  When he
  realised it was not possible to do so using free software, he
  disappeared from the scenes for some time before trying again from
  the original codebase.

- "Sure, it's cool that Tim has picked up where others have failed in
  continuing the open source version of SourceForge": this is *wildly*
  inaccurate.  There have been several projects continuing the open
  source version of Sourceforge.  One of them is Savannah, used on
  servers of the FSF and used for lots of GNU projects and also a
  large number of other, non-GNU, free software projects.  The other
  is Debian-Sourceforge, an effort started almost exactly two years
  ago by yours truly.  Since then, I got help from several people,
  including Christian Bayle, Guillaume Morin, Otavio Salvador,
  Soon-Son Kwon and many others, including Tim Perdue himself.  The
  code is still very much alive, with some large improvements either
  done or in the making.

- "The installation has been simplified": The result of the
  Debian-Sourceforge project is that Debian-Sourceforge is the
  original Sourceforge codebase, with bugfixes and few patches, as a
  Debian package (so it takes *minutes* to install and configure).
  It's stable, it's working, it's been in Debian since May 2001 and
  it's in the Debian distribution codenamed "Woody", which is our
  stable distribution (and remember what they say about Debian being
  out-of-date).  You want to install Sourceforge?  "apt-get install
  sourceforge", answers a few questions, and you're there.  I haven't
  tried installing Gforge yet, but it cannot be much simpler than
  that.  Yet.

- Something I can't blame you for forgetting (since it started on the
  same day you published your article): Gforge is hosted on the
  Debian-SF CVS tree, as a different branch.  The "Yet." in the
  previous paragraph means we're currently porting our packaging (or
  "installation process") to this branch.

  Don't get me wrong: there are absolutely no bad feelings between us
Debian-SF people and Tim.  He's one of us, he works on the same CVS
tree (although he doesn't feel confident enough to commit changes to
the trunk yet), we work together to port our packaging to the Gforge
branch, and his changes to our trunk, we all expect to be able to
merge the two branches sometime so that we only have one code to
maintain.  I was just a bit... disappointed that Debian-SF not only
was't even hinted at, but its existence was positively denied (the
"others have failed" was not very flattering).

  I'm Cc:ing the mailing-list that we Debian-SF developers use to
communicate.  Feel free to contact us on that list if you need more
info on Debian-SF for your next article.


Roland Mas

Fate always wins...  At least, when people stick to the rules.
  -- in Interesting Times (Terry Pratchett)

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