Balasankar C

Balasankar C

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My 2^10 days of packaging

Heyo folks,

Today, out of the blue, I decided to check how many days have gone since I was first introduced to packaging by Praveen. From my blog post entry, it was on October 20, 2012 when I joined an IRC training conducted by Praveen. It was for the packaging of Diaspora and in general that of ruby gems. And today, 1024 days had passed since I first tried my hands in packaging. So, thought about documenting the phases involved in it.

The beginning - October, 2012

The first gem I filed an ITP for was jammit. I was walked through the basic steps mentioned here and while checking for the dependencies, there were two unpackaged ones - cssmin and jsmin. Well, that got my spirits down. After all, everyone do hope to get the stuff rolling in their first try. Also, I was intimidated by the fact that jammit, being an application rather than a library, required me to write a manpage while packaging. So, that made me to drop the packaging idea for a while and I never tried it again for two years

The second beginning - August and September 2014

In 2014, I wanted to give packaging another try and was suggested the gem timeline-setter by Praveen. I used the gem2deb tool and created a package and sent an RFS to list. But I had missed something. Guess what, it had jammit as a dependency. So, I decided to start packaging cssmin, a runtime dep of jammit. I prepared a package for cssmin, and sent an RFS to Debian Ruby mailing list. Praveen mentioned some changes to the packaging and I did them and pushed to alioth. Well, he uploaded it and my first package was accepted to Debian on September 1st.

After cssmin, I tried to package jsmin, but jsmin had an json evil license. Also, jammit upstream was reluctant about packaging of it and had disagreements over jsmin's evil license . So, I dropped the jammit packaging, and in turn, timeline-setter packaging half way.

Diaspora Packaging - October 2014 to January 2015

I decided to work on getting Diaspora on Debian, following Praveen's lead. So in October, I started with the gem haml-rails and completed packaging of about 5 gems that month. By the end of November, I packaged 11 gems, including some of the ruby-redis-* family. By the end of February, I had tried my hands on a font package also,and some more ruby packages including the ruby-fog-* family. I was maintaining about 19 packages at that time.

Applying for Debian Maintainer status - January 2015

I applied to become a Debian Maintainer on 22 January, 2015. Becoming one permitted me to update the packages I maintain without the need of a sponsor. Praveen seconded my application and I requested my keys to be added to the maintainer keyring.

Becoming a Debian Maintainer - February - March 2015

My DM application was accepted on 28th February 2015 and I was made a DM (my keys got added to the keyring) on 4th March 2015. I asked Praveen to grant me DM access on the packages that I maintained and once I got that, I was able to update my packages.

GitLab packaging - April 2015 - ****

Since Diaspora packaging was coming to an end, I decided to take up the packaging of GitLab. I packaged some of its dependencies, created a progressbar as a step to learn Ruby based on Cedric's code, and started a blog series on my experiences with GitLab packaging. I also helped the Ruby team in fixing bugs caused by the Ruby2.2 transition and RSpec3 upload.

Hope to contribute more towards the Debian project in the future