Well, DevJam was a blast.
The idea was to talk with Debian developers about packaging components
written in the Java language, and I went along as gcj maintainer. I
was a little worried that the Debians wouldn't like the packaging we
do with gcj in Fedora, or that they'd want to do it entirely
differently. I needn't have worried, however. They were very
receptive to suggestions and seem in general to be a smart and
enthusiastic bunch of people.
Friday began with mjw's thing. Summary: we're 90ish percent done, but
it doesn't work. Or something like that...
I can't remember what else happened on Friday.
I kicked off the proceedings on Saturday by talking about gcj and how
it works on GNU/Linux systems, with particular regard to the whole
precompiled database thing. Then Jeroen van Wolffelaar spoke about
Debian packaging and how it works, which was very useful for me. My
impression -- which might of course be incorrect -- was that Debian
packaging is nicer in some ways than RPM, worse in others, and just
different enough to be totally incompatible. Sigh.
We agreed, I think, to concentrate on the packages at jpackage.org.
This is easy for Fedora (jpackage and Fedora are RPM based
distributions) but hard for Debian. I don't know if this is going to
work, but I think it's worth a try.
I'm a little worried that Fedora and Debian might be duplicating
effort, particularly with regard to sanitizing packages. This
sanitization is necessary because we have to be very sure that there
are no unfree packages shipped by mistake. Hopefully, where one
distro has sanitized a package the other will be able to use that as a
gbenson talked for a little while about how the rebuild-gcj-db and
aot-compile-rpm scripts work, so that they can easily be used in a
Debian-based system. That should work well, I think.
DevJam itself was interesting. The idea is that people turn up with
computers and lock themselves in a room with a ton of food for a
couple of days, hacking and talking together. There's plenty of room
for people to sleep. All rather like a Scout camp, but minus the
healthy outdoor activity and the singing. As a weakling I didn't do
the sleeping on the floor thing, instead staying in hotel in the
centre of Oldenburg. (The Hermes: very good, 60 Euros per night.
Next to the railway station. Recommended.)
One thing I really got from this is how lucky I am to work on free
software full time -- the attendees at DevJam were smart and
enthusiastic and quite inspiring. It was an opportunity to recharge
So, I'm glad I went and I hope to meet the Debians again. Until
then, we have plenty of things to be getting on with!