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

From: Andreas Tille
Subject: Re: [Health-dev] Roadmap gnuhealth (was: Force removal of gnuhealth* packages in sid?)
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:58:00 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)


On Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 01:14:11PM +0200, Emilien Klein wrote:
> 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.".
> [0] 
> [1]
> [2]

I admit I personally dont have any idea about Tryton and GNUHeath so my
point might be a bit naive.  I'd recommend watching the QA session with
Linus at DebConf[1].  One major point he made is that you should never
ever break an ABI.  So if Tryton is a system that breaks its interface
so frequently that you always need to use the latest version my personal
recommendation would be:  You should not use Tryton for business
applications.  As I said I might be naive / uninformed but for me
personally this means that I do not want to touch this system.

> 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.
> [3]

Since I had a similar discussion with the GNUmed authors where I had the
same packagers attitude as you Emilien and the GNUmed authors followed
the same idea as GNUHealth authors I think there must be something
behind it.  I actually realised that in the end it is way less work for
me as a packager to follow their opinion which was reason enough to me
to spend my time on other projects.  So while not beeing finally
convinced that they are right it is implemented according to their
recommendation anyway. :-)

> 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 ;)

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

What exactly is "the Tryton Debian archive".  Mathias wrote about
"something outside main" which I actually would call a restriction I
would not like since you will miss all the QA stuff which makes a
package for science and business applications really valuable.  Debian
is nit just a bunch if simple to install software but a distribution of
*tested* software that fits *together* properly.
> [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 ;)

Finally you are a volunteer and you are free to decide how you will
spent your time.  I do evaluate your past work really high and I'm sure
your future contribution will be as well (whether inside Debian or
Kind regards and thanks for your explanation




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