[SciPy-dev] updating the numpy/scipy versions in Linux distros

Joe Harrington jh@physics.ucf....
Wed Feb 18 00:55:11 CST 2009

Jarrod Millman writes:
> On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 12:44 PM, Joe Harrington <jh@physics.ucf.edu> wrote:
> > It would be nice if the Packaging section of Developer Zone on the web
> > site made the packaging process a little more transparent...  Say what
> > you do to get a release out and to get it in distribution, who does
> > it, what the timetables tend to look like, etc.  If you ask for help
> > there, you're likely to get it.
> I don't use Ubuntu, but a quick google search gave me this:
>   http://packages.ubuntu.com/jaunty/python-numpy
>   http://packages.ubuntu.com/jaunty/python-scipy
> I would rather not have information about Ubuntu's release process on
> the SciPy site.  Ubuntu should be the system of record and it is very
> easy to find out that information using google.  Anything added to the
> SciPy site will either quickly become out of date or will need
> maintenance (we have too much out-of-date, conflicting, or duplicate
> information on the site).
> If you want the Ubuntu developers to use more recent versions of numpy
> and scipy, try "asking a question" about whether they will upgrade
> through launchpad:
>   https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/python-scipy/+addquestion
>   https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/python-numpy/+addquestion
> Hope that is enough information to get you started.
> Good luck,
> Jarrod

Well, there are two parts to the question:

1. what happens when the Packaging Team produces a release
2. how those releases get into distros

I have put some basic text on each topic under Packaging on the
Developer Zone page, but it needs more info than I know.  Jarrod,
could you flesh that out to say what the Packaging Team does to
produce a release, who is on the Packaging Team, etc.?  What are the
principles applied when deciding what features go into what releases
(might go under Source Code)?  How do you make and test the packages?
Once you declare a source release, what happens to make binary
packages?  Who does what in all these processes?  What skills would a
volunteer need and whom would they contact to help out?  What kinds of
help do you need?  I think you'd get offers of help if the process
were more transparent to new users.

For the second part of the problem, of course there's no reason for us
to document what Ubuntu or any other distro does to cut one of their
releases.  What's needed is to document how our stuff gets into their
release.  If they pull, who does it, and what's the best way to signal
them that it's time to pull, given that they're not on our lists and
that for many distros, the person responsible for the package might
not use or even personally care about our software.  I have hung a
page off DevZone that has a section for each distro.  I hope
knowledgeable users will fill it in.

Robert Kern writes:
> My experience is that most distribution packagers aren't on this list.
> We don't push; they pull.

This is actually good news.  Maybe we'd be more up-to-date in the
distros if we had some volunteers act as liasons between the Packaging
Team and the distros.  All they'd have to do would be to follow the
instructions on the Distros page to ping the distros whenever we cut a
new release.  There are plenty of newish folks who have asked how they
could help, but who can't actually contribute code or docs yet.  This
would be a good task for them.  It would only take one or two people.



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