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Re: [Health-dev] Roadmap gnuhealth (was: Force removal of gnuhealth* pac

From: Emilien Klein
Subject: Re: [Health-dev] Roadmap gnuhealth (was: Force removal of gnuhealth* packages in sid?)
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:14:11 +0200

Hi Mathias and all,

2014-06-29 16:49 GMT+02:00 Mathias Behrle <address@hidden>:
> * Emilien Klein: " Force removal of gnuhealth* packages in sid? (Was: Re: GNU
>   Health autoremove from testing)" (Sun, 29 Jun 2014 09:09:30 +0200):
> Hi Emilien,
>> 2014-06-10 14:46 GMT+02:00 Emilien Klein <address@hidden>:
>> >> > The packages gnuhealth-server and gnuhealth-client will have to be
>> >> > removed from sid (and from testing once the new package migrates to
>> >> > testing).
>> >>
>> >> The removal of the binary packages is automatically done once the
>> >> package with the changed binary package names will be uploaded.
>> >
>> > I guess we can just wait for the autoremoval period to lapse, and the
>> > package will be removed automatically.
>> Since there will be no upload of the newest version of the source
>> package (newer Tryton version preventing building of GNU Health
>> 2.4.X), the change in binary names will not be observed by the release
>> system. I suppose I have to take manual action to remove that package
>> from sid as well (the gnuhealth* packages were autoremoved from
>> testing already)
>> Who should I contact to get those removed from there as well?
> I am a bit confused by several messages. What are your current plans with the
> gnuhealth package? I assumed until now, that you planned to integrate the
> upcoming upstream release and then reupload to NEW.

Sorry if the lower half of this post wasn't clear enough:

My plan for the gnuhealth package in Debian is to remove the package
from the repository. In fact, I filed the ROM bug yesterday for
removal from unstable:

As indicated in my June post (first link above), the main reason for
this is the strict dependency of GNU Health on specific versions of
Tryton, and the incompatibilities in release schedules between the 2
projects, as you've mentioned in [0] yourself. A discussion with
upstream [1] to propose bringing the 2 release cycles closer didn't
improve the situation.

I've analyzed that before [2], most of the time the latest GNU Health
version doesn't run on the latest version of Tryton (but the version
prior to that). You can see the dates mentioned in the previous post,
the summarizing quote of which is "So looking at the 9 months between
2013-04-22 and 2014-01-26, the latest version of GNU Health was
depending on the then last version of Tryton only for one month.".


Other reasons for not pushing harder on my side include:
- Upstream indicated [3] that they see not much benefit in having the
Debian package manage the database, but would rather want the Debian
package to just install the files, created the OS user (which runs
contradictory to your preference to run only one Tryton server under
the user provided by the tryton-server package) and install bashrc
files for that user, in effect mimicking the upstream-provided
installation script (motivation is uniformity in installation, user
under which the service runs, etc. over all installations of GNU
Health, regardless of the distribution on which it was installed)
- I don't see the benefit of providing a package which basically only
drops the source file on the disk, but for which the rest of the setup
needs to be done manually. I do understand this could be useful to
some users, and in fact the original form of the package provided that
(just respond "no" to the question if the database should be managed
by the installation process), but just uncompressing a tarball is not
what a Debian package should look like in my opinion.


So rather than maintaining a package that:
- can't be build a large fraction of the time in unstable;
- doesn't fit upstream's vision on how it's software should be used;
- doesn't fit my vision of what a Debian package should do for its
user (i.e. usable out-of-the box, tweakable to any extent if needed);

I have decided not to spend my free time on the Debian package, but
rather see how I can contribute more closely directly upstream (e.g.
helping with HL7 implementation in GNU Health).

That being said, looking at the number of posts in the past months on
the project's lists of users that have installed the software, but
can't make connection to the server, I remain convinced of the utility
of a package in Debian and derivative distributions that allow a user
to just install both server and client side with one command (`apt-get
install gnuhealth` and run the client `gnuhealth`) remains valuable,
definitely for people trying the software out. That's the first step
in making the software known, a new user can try it out rather simply.
Of course when you're satisfied and want to run it in PRD, you'll have
to think better on your deployment and backup strategy. But there's no
harm in e.g. having the package take an extra automatic backup of your
database ;)

>> From: Emilien Klein <address@hidden>
>> To: address@hidden
>> Subject: Closing bug report
>> Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2014 08:59:29 +0200
>> As GNU Health was removed from the archive, this bug report is "fixed".
>> Closing bug report.
>> Mathias, I am confident that in case you are picking up the package
>> [0] you will make sure to address your concerns ;)
>> Thanks for your help and comments on this package.
>>    +Emilien
>> [0]
> What do you mean by 'picking up'?

I meant inclusion in the Tryton Debian archive. Similar to what you've
just indicated [4].


I hope you don't get a negative feeling on my part from this message.
I am still as enthusiastic about Debian [Med] and GNU Health, but I've
come to realize that packaging in the official Debian repository
currently has challenges, and that I feel my contributions can be more
impactful on other aspects ;)

> To avoid further confusion: the gnuhealth package will enter 
> when it fits into the concept (as previously said, chances now are much better
> as the package just provides the modules). One other point of this concept is 
> a
> clean upgrade path to Debian main packages. So I won't do any changes to an
> existing package not maintained by me nor provide a conflicting one.
> Cheers,
> Mathias

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