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From: Ludovic Brenta <>
Subject: Re: OpenToken
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 16:03:02 +0200
Date: 2008-08-31T16:03:02+02:00	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)

Stephen Leake writes:
> Ludovic Brenta writes:
>> On Aug 30, 12:51 am, Stephen Leake <>
>> wrote:
>>> I actually have two slightly different versions of OpenToken; one for
>>> GDS (my work project) and one for webcheck (a home project). I've been
>>> waiting for an excuse to merge them; this could be it.
>> Great news. In fact, since OpenToken seems dead upstream, you might as
>> well adopt it for your own and host it on a public revision control
>> system. Ada-France's monotone server is yours if you want it;
>> otherwise you can go to SourceForge, Gna!, Berlios, Tigris or
>> Savannah.
> What are the tradeoffs between doing that, and becoming a Debian
> maintainer for OpenToken? or both?

OpenToken already has a Debian maintainer, his name is Reto Buerki[1],
so there is no requirement for you to maintain the package in Debian.
You may, of course, offer to co-maintain the package with Reto.


The one thing that OpenToken lacks is an active upstream author and
web site. The web site should have:

- a public source code repository
- a public bug database
- optionally, a mailing list.

Since there are currently few users, I proposed the "lightest"
solution requiring near zero set-up time:

- Ada-France for the public source code repository (possibly with
  mirrors, since monotone is distributed)
- the Debian bug tracking system as a public bug database
- comp.lang.ada as the mailing list (supplemented by each bug in the
  Debian BTS, which is a mailing list on its own).

> I'm familiar with SourceForge, and monotone, and I have a small public
> website of my own. So it's not the mechanics of the public site I'm
> concerned about. More the time it takes to respond to user queries.

As you have witnessed, there have been no user queries in years :) I
did send a couple of patches to the original author but never received
a response.  These patches are in the Debian package.

Setting up a proper "upstream" site shouldn't take too much time but
that's still more than what I proposed.

> I guess it depends on how popular the package becomes. Both public
> sites and Debian packages are practically invisible without concerted
> advertising campaigns, so I suspect there's not much difference.

Yea, except that we're doing the advertising right now :)

> I'm inclined to start with being a Debian maintainer, and only
> establish a public website if there is more demand.

I agree with that.

>>> That's about to change; I'm finally fed up with Windows at home, so
>>> I'm buying a new laptop with gNewSense (derived from Debian) on it.
>> Congratulations. I hope you enjoy the experience. Out of curiosity,
>> what is the difference between gNewSense and using only the main part
>> of Debian (as opposed to contrib and non-free)?
> Partly ignorance, partly politics. 
> I chose gNewSense because it is advertised as 100% Free Software (in
> the GPL sense). For example, the wireless card won't work in the
> laptop I'm getting, because there is no Free Software driver for it.

> FSF established gNewSense because the main part of Debian is not 100%
> free in this sense; see

I remember that time.  There was opposition within Debian to removing
non-free drivers from the kernel, and even some flame wars.  But the
Free Software advocates finally got their way, such that now the
kernel in Debian is split into the main, contrib and non-free sections
(i.e. they split the non-free drivers into their own packages).  One
can use only the main section and get essentially what gNewSense

> The politics is supporting a laptop/Gnu/Linux vendor that offers
> gNewSense; I hope that promotes the cause of 100% Free Software in
> some way - they can report one more customer interested in it. In
> fact, they did say they are working on a 100% free wireless solution.

Could you please tell me who that vendor is? I'll be interested, come
time to replace my current laptop (which I got from HP with only
FreeDOS installed).

> I'm hoping I can just use Debian apt-get to get updates, but I'm not
> clear that will filter the stuff removed by gNewSense.

I guess you can use apt-pinning for that, but I'm not familiar enough
with the details of gNewSense to be positive.

> Eventually, I'd like to get a Free Software BIOS. That may be the only
> way to avoid DRM, if the DRM advocates get their way. The book
> Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge presents a scary vision of such a thing;
> you can't even order a pizza without a trust certificate, and Gnu Hurd
> is illegal, but the choice of hackers. No mention of Debian :).
> Explicitly supporting gNewSense is one way to encourage Free Software
> BIOS development. At least I tell myself that :).

Yes, at FOSDEM 2007 I attended Ronald G. Minnich's presentation of
LinuxBIOS[2].  From memory, the speaker is from Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory or similar, and uses LinuxBIOS on supercomputers.
The part I liked the most was when he described how Intel tried to
sell them their new and improved BIOS architecture into which hardware
vendors could add their own proprietary plug-ins.  Guess what the
reaction was from people who simulate nuclear weapons on said


Ludovic Brenta.

  reply	other threads:[~2008-08-31 14:03 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 25+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2008-08-21  2:35 Status of ayacc and aflex? Peter C. Chapin
2008-08-21  4:39 ` J. David Bryan
2008-08-21 10:35   ` Peter C. Chapin
2008-08-21  6:27 ` ficorax
2008-08-21 10:36   ` Peter C. Chapin
2008-08-21  8:36 ` Dmitry A. Kazakov
2008-08-21  9:56 ` Stephen Leake
2008-08-21 10:34   ` Peter C. Chapin
2008-08-21 14:55 ` gautier_niouzes
2008-08-21 23:00   ` Peter C. Chapin
2008-08-22 11:02 ` Colin Paul Gloster
2008-08-22 12:02   ` Ludovic Brenta
2008-08-22 12:56     ` Dmitry A. Kazakov
2008-08-22 13:29     ` Niklas Holsti
2008-08-22 14:17       ` Ludovic Brenta
2008-08-22 17:17         ` Niklas Holsti
2008-08-24 15:02     ` Stephen Leake
2008-08-28 13:38       ` OpenToken (was: Status of ayacc and aflex?) Ludovic Brenta
2008-08-29 22:51         ` OpenToken Stephen Leake
2008-08-30 10:43           ` OpenToken Ludovic Brenta
2008-08-31 13:27             ` OpenToken Stephen Leake
2008-08-31 14:03               ` Ludovic Brenta [this message]
2008-09-01 12:40                 ` OpenToken Stephen Leake
2008-09-12 18:40                   ` OpenToken Ludovic Brenta
2023-05-31 20:42 ` Status of ayacc and aflex? Gautier write-only address
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