There has been a recent discussion on the opensuse-factory mailing list
about the creation of a repository for non-core packages. The concern
expressed at the beginning of the discussion is that openSUSE has too many
repositories of unknown quality. Right now many openSUSE community
members have home repositories with software packages not found in the
main openSUSE repository. Some have software that other openSUSE users
would like, some have highly experimental packages that most users would
rather avoid. It is difficult for the user to find the packages they want,
or know which ones they might find suitable.
expressed some of those concerns:
The goal of the contrib repository must indeed be "stability", which
essentially means two things:
- - feature freeze: when the Factory repository is freezed, the contrib
repository must be freezed too; only allow bugfix upgrades (as, clearly,
I doubt we'd find enough human resources to backport fixes) and reject
- - stable software: packages that are in there need a lot of testing and
must hence be picked carefully
The point is to make an "additional" type of repository,
not an "always the latest".
And then we should think about how to have those packages tested
properly in order to gain an acceptable level of quality in there when
openSUSE distro releases happen (or, rather, when they're freezed).
Following the alpha/beta/RC cycles of Factory and issue the same calls
for testing could be an option.
Eromenko had some ideas of what that might look like:
Yes, "Contrib" is planned to be a community-driven extension of Factory,
with all Factory standards and limits applied.
This means, that user's will have early version of contrib available
for 11.1. "early" doesn't mean unstable, but it means that number of
packages are expected to be limited.
Only stable software will make it into contrib.
All unstable software will remain in user's Home projects in OBS.
Bleser wondered about how a package is determined to be stable.
Yes, sure, but => "after it becomes stable" <=
That's precisely the point. How do we decide whether a package is stable
enough to go into contrib ?
Through a release management team ?
But maybe we need to offer a comfortable way for people to test packages
before they make it into contrib, and having a staging repository is one
way of doing it.
(I'm just throwing ideas, I'm not saying it's necessarily _the_ way to
Guenther proposed some sort of staging repository.
It as well makes sense to stage Contrib (I would like this for Factory,
too, but it's probably easiest to try with Contrib first). If you
are familiar with the Debian way then you know there is the unstable
and the testing repositories. So there should be something like
Contrib:/Unstable (feel free to pick a more suitable name) where
a new package (version) should reside for some time before it is
migrated to the main Contrib repository. Criterias ideally would be
"zero bugs of severity greater than normal" - but of course this
would require proper bugzilla integration (or completely manual
Staging Contrib helps getting more peer review and avoids breaking
Contrib itself. At the point the next openSUSE is freezed development
can continue in the unstable branch but only critical fixes are
migrated to Contrib.
Eromenko that the new repository should have stable versioned branches,
but unstable packages should remain in Home repositories.
Speaking about stable/unstable trees:
-I think that stable must have braches, yes, (contrib-stable-11.1,
contrib-stable-11.2, etc...) - but only for future releases, not
Reason is simple: We will find BETA-testers for 11.1/11.2, but
unlikely to find enough testers for packages for 10.2.
-unstable: I prefer this branch should exists in user's OBS, but if
there are volunteers,
it could be part of contrib. Because it is unstable, I don't think it
The discussion continued from there. For now unstable packages remain the
the user's Home repository and a small review team has been formed to
review these potential candidates. The discussion, and results have been
documented on the Contrib
wiki page, along with a wish list of packages, for those who
are interested in learning more about the Contrib repository and the shape
it might take.
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