Open source distribution editors package and assemble a large number of programs and applications into a single tested distribution, together with a set of tools to install and administer the system.
Two key functions are:
- Producing a new version of a distribution: for this the editor starts from a complete version of the distribution, it add and delete packages, refreshes packages with more recent versions, reconfigure packages, etc.
- Customizing a distribution for a specific user: this user can be a corporate user wanting a specific distribution for its needs, a hardware or a software vendor. Customization includes adding, deleting packages, updating and configuring packages. The main objective will be to develop technology and tools to support and improve these two processes.
Our goal is to dramatically increase the team productivity. We will do this by addressing three problems: The current way distribution edition is done is as follows: a complete copy of the current state of the software is available at the central site of the editor. This data is then mirrored on a set of mirrors in a hierarchical although crude and inconsistent fashion. The mirroring problem can be solved through various methods, coming either distributed database technology or from peer-to-peer approaches. We will propose specific tools and mechanisms to solve the problem, provide an implementation and the analysis of the impact of our solution.
Packagers collect packages manually over the Web, then build and maintain the dependency data, This manual process will be, partially at least, automated. Packages are delivered from the outside with various levels of tests, test should be partially done outside, in many cases only the package developer is able to really test, and should do it. Tools and technology will be developed to partially automate the QA process. Protocols will be defined to allow the definition and transmission of tests among the various actors of the community.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
59700 Marq En Baroeul
75005 Paris 5
39040 Tel Aviv
1211 Geneve 4
75251 Paris Cedex 05