[DebianGIS] [Live-demo] Ideas for Collaboration

Hamish hamish_b at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 17 03:35:26 PDT 2009

Mark wrote:
> Have a look at http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/LISAsoft-LiveCD_process
> Stefan has spelled out the process quite well there.

I didn't know about that page ...

.... ok I have now added a "Live-demo" category in the OSGeo Wiki and
linked in as many relevant pages as I could find. Please add more
if you know of any. (Just add [[Category: Live-demo]] to the end of
the page)

see  http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Category:Live-demo

Cameron wrote:
> For what it is worth, I have inherited the despot role for UbuntuGIS,
> and am looking around for someone willing to take over the role.

don't look at me :-)

> I suspect that the UbuntuGIS launchpad could be used for the tasks
> you are describing below?

actually while searching through the OSGeo wiki for liveCD pages I
discovered that we already have some SVN space there! I added a new
Infrastructure segment to the main wiki page describing it:

A link to the ISO hosting instructions are also added.

I have opened an OSGeo SAC ticket requesting further guidance
and a slot in bug/wish/task tracker in the same Trac instance.

> SideNote: Talking with eipfanio, including all the common languages on
> the same disc is going to eat up a lot space, so I want to make sure
> it's easy to take the base image or config and drop the language you
> want for your particular need as a disc for that language group.

translations are just text files, they take up little space. we've got
a 4.3GB DVD to play with -- my /usr/share/locale/ dir is 325MB.
Surely a zero-effort + just-works for everyone install is worth that

> I think UbuntuGIS is probably a more appropriate place for most of our
> work as we are building based on the Ubuntu distro and not directly on
> Debian.

It is my hope that the tools we use are cross-pollinated enough that
either Ubuntu or Debian can be used at the user's discretion. AFAIK
mostly they are.

> I see why ideally live-helper is the better way to do it.
> Some notes on ubuntu modifications to get it to work right
> http://clemensfam.org/john/?p=39

added to the wiki, thanks.

> My biggest concern is whether we have enough people with the technical
> expertise. I know I've read the how to build deb tutorials/manuals a
> couple of times and still haven't been able to build a proper deb. The
> concepts are all in my head but I just haven't figured out all the
> patch/diff modification stuff and where the binary gets generated.

I barely can get my head around it myself. But there is help about
and it is mostly reusable knowledge so I try not to get too frustrated.

A nice little tutorial on the wiki site would help here....

> For some of these projects I see why deb packages could be problematic.
> Ideally they would be in the official repos, but those don't update that
> frequently, it's kinda good that QGIS has it's own PPA  so you can get
> the latest stable asap.

I don't think it is hard to automatically pull packages from both official
and unofficial repos. Even though the long term goal is to get everything
to a high enough quality to go into the official repos that doesn't mean
our immediate needs should be held up while we wait for perfection.

FWIW the debian/ build rules dir in the grass source code is just a
small readme with instructions to run "svn checkout debiangis..."
and run "debuild binary". I think QGIS could also be downloaded and
built using a similar 2-liner.

> My own opinion is that a live-disc requires a weekly auto-build cycle. 

cron jobs are possible, we are autobuilding weekly binary snapshots of
GRASS on the OSGeo server already.

> A live-disc can be based on the current stable release in the status
> it is at the time of the build,

Personally I prefer to use the current Stable release + security updates.
(live-helper already does that)

> but many things needs continuously to be updated if one needs up-to-date
> programs.

for specific GIS packages we can also pull from backports.org or private
repos (like for qgis).

> The problem with most of the java apps is, that their building process
> uses maven, which loads all dependencies dynamically. From my
> understanding, this is not allowed for deb-packages. Do you have a
> solution for this problem? Or am even wrong in this point?

No, I don't know much about the Java side of things. Just that support
for it is very new in Debian, so not much official packaging and cultural
migration has happened yet (and thus filtered through to Ubuntu either).

> On the LISAsoft-LiveCD_process pages is actually our old process
> described. Atm we turn a whole xubuntu installation into an ISO-image.
> How we do it is described here:
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Creating_a_Live_GIS_DISC_from_scratch

please edit/update/add a note to the wiki describing what the current
situation is. these things are hard to guess.

Bias 1: Our people-hours are highly limited, thus I am trying to focus
on making things as efficient as possible. I think it's a mostly a
case of focusing on automation and communication, ie avoid double-
handling like the plague and make the barriers to entry as low as
Bias 2: I mostly know Debian, so Debian is my hammer for all jobs,
but I try and keep an open mind/ear.



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