[Etoys] Squeak and EToys packages for Fedora and OLPC

Gavin Romig-Koch gavin at redhat.com
Thu Sep 4 18:53:37 EDT 2008

Bert Freudenberg wrote:
> It's not inappropriate, but most list members have no experience with  
> packaging software for a Linux distribution, or even know about how  
> software is normally maintained in the open-source community, what  
> separates an author from a maintainer etc. Do you have a pointer to a  
> short introduction into this? Until now, we (the authors) did all the  
> end-user releases for various platforms on our own, so this is new  
> land for most of us.
I don't know of an existing short introduction, seems like it would be 
useful to have one.  For now I'll just say a few (hopefully helpful) 

The open-source community organizes itself into groups, generally known 
as "projects".  Most projects are formed around producing or improving 
some body of code - for example, the Linux Kernel, or GNU Compiler 
Collection, or the Squeak VM.  Generally, these kinds of projects don't 
produce end-user releases because of the wide variety of possible 
end-user hardware and software environments.  Other projects, called 
distributions, are formed around producing end-user releases of the code 
- the Fedora project is such a distribution, as is the Debian project, 
and the FreeBSD project, as well as many more.  Of course the real 
situation is less clear cut than this paragraph implies, but well, 
that's reality.  Also I realise that the way Squeak and EToys's images 
are distributed in a hardware and software environment independent manner.

A maintainer in the open-source community is simply an author with 
certain rights and responsibilities to a particular project.  For the 
Fedora project, maintainer ship is relative to other software project 
(often called upstream projects), and is responsible for properly 
including and updating the upstream project into the Fedora 
distribution.  I would like to see Squeak and EToys become a standard 
part of the Fedora distribution and am volunteering to take on Fedora 
maintainer ship for these upstream projects, if the Fedora project 
accepts me and them.   I would also like to find ways the Fedora and 
OLPC projects can leverage each other better, but I'm not sure what or 
how to help with that yet.  Given the way the Squeak and Etoys images 
are distributed, packaging them into RPMs is trivial, and in some views 
extraneous, but I believe it is important to include them in RPMs for 
reasons I'll explain at another time.

The Fedora projects end user releases consist of a collection of 
packages (files), called RPMs.   An RPM is created by writing something 
called a spec file for that RPM which describes the contents of the RPM, 
the source of the RPM, how the contents of the RPM are to be built from 
that source, and how the contents of the RPM are to be installed on the 
end users machine.   The link I included in my last message was a set of 
spec files (and supporting files) for creating Squeak and EToys related 
RPMS.   I posted them in this list primarily in support of my goal of 
improving the leverage between Fedora and OLPC.   Of course, if no one 
on this list is using EToys on RPM based distributions, then I'll have 
to learn a bit more about how XO's are created and how EToys is 
distributed on OLPCs for this goal.

Thanks for listening.


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