[PlanetCCRMA] moving PlanetCCRMA to Fedora Extras?

Fernando Lopez-Lezcano nando@ccrma.Stanford.EDU
Sun Feb 26 17:01:03 2006

On Sun, 2006-02-26 at 15:29 -0800, Florin Andrei wrote:
> Hey everyone, I've been using CCRMA for a long time now, although I
> wasn't too active on the mailing list.
> Anyway, there's something I've been thinking of for a while and I kind
> of like the idea: would it make sense to merge PlanetCCRMA into Extras?

Of course...

> There are already all kinds of packages in Extras. The music / sound
> packages would not be, by any means, out of place there.
> Also, I am not sure how much time Fernando has to maintain Planet, but I
> remember him complaining a while ago about lack of time. I don't know
> the current situation. In any case, Extras is a much bigger project and
> it's much less likely to run out of human resources (in terms of
> maintainers).

It depends on whether the available maintainers are interested in audio
software or not. But of course the pool is bigger :-)

> The biggest advantage of the move would be that it would make it much
> easier to distribute the workload to many more package maintainers.
> Having more maintainers means faster package updates when new software
> versions are released.
> I would be happy to maintain, say, LMMS, JACK and all plugins, Qjackctl
> and ZynAddSubFX, plus all the libraries required by them that are not
> already in Extras. Maybe also a couple of bigger packages such as
> Rosegarden. I like Hydrogen too.
> I was actually thinking to push the packages mentioned above to Extras
> regardless of the outcome of this proposal, but I feel it's pointless to
> do a redundant effort.

It has been my intention for quite a while. I have even exchanged a few
emails about this with one of the members of the steering committe. I
still intend to do this but I have to jump through a few hoops to get
into the extras projects as a developer, I meant to do this last year
but I have not had time. I know that the "I don't have time" is starting
to be a little repetitive :-)

> Another advantage of merging Planet into Extras is that Extras is by
> definition "clean" and that would reduce the incidence of the PRH Effect
> (Package Repository Hell) which is getting pretty annoying these days.

Yes, of course, that is the case today because I have not been able to
"track" other repos as closely as I used to. I don't think Extras is
clean by design. I don't know where they stand today (I think the stance
is more friendly now) but at the beginning they achieved that
"cleanliness" by completely ignoring the existence of other
repositories. That is not to say that other repos now have to track
extras as it is "part of" fedora in a way so there should be less chance
of conflicts. 

> Another big plus is that this way the Planet packages will be much more
> deeply embedded into Fedora. Instead of having to enable a repository
> that they never heard about, people would be exposed to all the
> music/sound goodies by simply installing Fedora (Extras is enabled by
> default in yum). A much larger audience than the current one, which can
> only benefit everyone.

There are some details that for now will make it difficult to have a
seamless integration. 

One is the kernel itself. While the fedora kernels (through improvements
in mainline) have been getting better in terms of latency - although it
has been a while I have tested one -, they are still far from what can
be achieved with Ingo's patches (ha, when they work, of course :-). 

Even with a Fedora kernel you would not get access to realtime
scheduling out of the box, you would have to enable that access by
editing a file in /etc/security, Planet CCRMA includes a patched pam
that has that enabled by default - I don't think you could/would have
that available in a general purpose distro like extras. So, for using
Jack I don't think Extras would be a "yum install whatever" solution, it
will involve some tweaking. 

> The merge doesn't have to happen in an instant. Instead, packages can
> migrate gradually, as individual maintainers step up and grab packages
> and push them through the approval process at Extras.
> Of course, a small number of packages may never migrate - things such as
> custom kernels. But that's OK, since those don't add essential
> functionality, they just enable convenient aspects.
> There are also packages with questionable licenses that will never be
> approved by Extras, but there's already a plethora of repos already
> taking care of all those packages and more.
> Well, I'm stepping down from the soapbox now and I'm listening.

I agree with your assessment with the caveats mentioned above by both
you and me. 

I was thinking on first trying with a ladspa package to get the feel of
the whole extras process (it is not trivial), and then start with Jack -
the obvious first package that enables the inclusion of most of the
useful stuff...

I had also started work on a build server and environment here at CCRMA
so that other PlanetCCRMA'lites could help me in the build process.
Maybe you would be interested in helping? (in addition of course of the
extras integration, both are not exclusive...)

-- Fernando