Paul Boddie's Free Software-related blog

Paul's activities and perspectives around Free Software

More on Kolab and Debian

Well, after my recent blog post highlighting some surprising problems with my Kolab installation – not at all a complaint about the packages, really, but more of a contribution towards improving the packaging situation, as I see it at least – some more interest in the situation around Kolab packaging for Debian has been shown:

Packaging for Debian can be a challenge. My own experience involved a pure-Python tool and still required lots of iterations to satisfy the Debian gatekeepers; this is understandable given that they try to virtually guarantee a coherent experience and provide a large selection of software whose copyright and licensing status must be clear, acceptable and without nasty surprises. I respect the effort that has gone into Kolab packaging for Debian already: without that effort, I probably wouldn’t even have tried the software.

The plan now must surely involve input from the Debian groupware initiative, especially as the Kolab architecture presumably resembles some of the other packaged solutions, and those who have contributed to the existing packaging work, as well as some discussion on the Kolab development mailing list, and some effort with the Open Build Service tools (with the “build commander” tool fortunately being available as a Debian package).

It is unfortunate that as Torsten points out, “Currently, there’s only one volunteer working on the Debian packages in his limited spare time, but hundreds of people who want to use reliable Debian packages.” Meanwhile, Timotheus points out, “Since there seems to be no corporate funding available for the Debian packages, we all need to pull together as a community and get it done!” It seems to me that those organisations that stand to benefit from more adoption of Free Software groupware, especially those using Debian as their foundation, might do well to assist this work instead of waiting for people to get it done in their free time.