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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: Help required with Debian CouchDB package
Date Thu, 06 Aug 2009 23:05:02 GMT

I hadn't realised that the Debian Erlang team was just me and Sergei! I was
under the impression that there were at least a handful of other people. Oh
well, I guess it's about to grow in size a little.

Three of you have offered to help maintain the package:

  Jim Tarvid <>

  Sam Bisbee <>

  Elliot Murphy <>

Thanks guys! I am overwhelmed by your response.

I think that Sam and Elliot both have packaging experience, which is great.

The other existing member of the Debian Erlang packaging team is:

  Sergei Golovan <>

Sergei is a Debian developer, and maintains the core Erlang packages. While he
is unable to help maintain the CouchDB package directly, he is happy to continue
checking and uploading new versions of it for you. This means that Sergei will
be your package sponsor. For this to work, you will need to prepare your changes
in the existing Subversion repository, and then ask Sergei to review them and
upload the new package version to Debian.

You will need to request membership for the project:

I think Sergei will have to confirm that you're allowed to join the project.

You can then check out the source via:

The CouchDB package is under the couchdb directory:

Please also sign up to the Erlang team mailing list:

I will remain on this list for a while, and monitor for any problems you have.

Any more discussion should probably move to the Erlang list.

For those totally new to Debian packaging, you should read through:

Some of the Debian mentor documentation might also be enlightening:

However, you're not going to be using the Debian mentors system.

This Debian mentors system traditionally provides a way for volunteers to
maintain packages with a group of experienced Debian developers available to
upload your changes after some peer-review. As Sergei has offered to do this for
you, you get to short-circuit the whole procedure. Thanks Sergei!

Sam Bisbee wrote:

> Do we have a task list, or are we focusing on getting 0.9.0 and then 0.9.1
> through the gauntlet and obeying the latest Debian Policy?

Elliot wrote:

> Does preparing the 0.9.1 release involve anything else other than the normal
> process for generating a source package for a new upstream release?

0.9.0-2 (any version with "-" in it is the Debian package version, in this case,
it is the second Debian version of CouchDB 0.9.0) contains a patch that was
merged into CouchDB 0.9.1 proper:

You should remove this patch for the next upload.

Aside from updating the debian/changelog to 0.9.1-1 and checking that the
debian/copyright file is still valid, I don't think there's much else to do. You
should always build your package with pdebuild, because this builds and installs
the CouchDB package in a chroot, and allows you to test properly.

The Ubuntu instructions for pbuilder are more comprehensive than the Debian ones:

My local customisation is:

  nslater@tumbolia: ~ $ cat .pbuilderrc
  nslater@tumbolia: ~ $ ls -l ~/.pbuilder-hooks
  total 4.0K
  lrwxrwxrwx 1 nslater nslater   8 2008-11-04 16:45 B10shell -> C10shell
  -rwxr-x--x 1 nslater nslater 135 2009-08-06 23:42 C10shell
  nslater@tumbolia: ~ $ cat .pbuilder-hooks/C10shell

  apt-get install -y --force-yes emacs22-nox less bash
  cd /tmp/buildd/*/debian/..
  /bin/bash < /dev/tty > /dev/tty 2> /dev/tty

I recommend you do the same. What this does is:

  * If the build fails, it gives you a shell in the chroot.

  * Once the package is installed, it gives you a shell in the chroot.

You should use the first to debug. You should use the second to start CouchDB
inside the chroot and run the unit tests via your browser. Doing this properly
will save Sergei a lot of time having to send emails about how the package is
broken for such and such a case.

Elliot wrote:

> Noah, I know that in Ubuntu we had made some permissions changes in the
> packaging for couchdb to enable per-user couchdb instances to be started in
> Ubuntu. Are there other changes that you know are pending for the package?


For reference, the patch is:

I think you should apply the changes to the debian/postinst file.

Elliot wrote:

> Once I have a source package that I have been able to build in a pbuilder and
> test, what is the process for getting a sponsor to upload to debian?

Ah, another pbuilder user! Great!

Sergei has offered to be the package sponsor, as explained above. You should
make sure it builds fine under pbuilder and then ask Sergei to take a look at
it. If he is happy with your changes, he'll do the upload for you.

Elliot wrote:

> I really really appreciate you handing over package maintenance in such an
> organized way, and I hope that this allows you more time to focus on your
> other valuable work.

You're more than welcome.

I'm still going to be around if you have questions about the packaging, and may
resume a more active role within the Erlang team at some point. For now though,
I need to refocus my work in other places.

Thanks to everyone who's offered to help.


Noah Slater,

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