Distribution independent update-manager
Summary: update-manager is right now Ubuntu-specific and must be modified heavily to work correctly on Debian. The idea is to create an update-manager core package, that is fully distribution independent and can be easily be extended with distribution-specific code.
- strong Python skills
- understanding of distributions using dpkg/apt as their package manager
Description: Since the release of update-manager 0.68-debian not much has happened regarding the state of it in Debian. The problem itself seems to be that update-manager is an Ubuntu-specific tool, which in the past has been ported to Debian every now and then. However, this porting work involves weeding out all Ubuntu-specific code, whereas some parts are strongly coupled with the update-manager internals and hence makes this work tedious. A possible solution for this problem would be making update-manager itself more distribution independent and making distribution-specific code optional and removable without causing update-manager itself to break. It should also be clarified that this project is not about making update-manager package-manager independent (ie. have it work with rpm too), but rather to remove Ubuntu-specific code from the core package.
Interested Students: StephanPeijnik
The project could be split up in three distinct parts, whereas one is possibly optional:
- Fork the upstream code and analyze what parts of upstream-manager make up its core functionality (... and while doing this getting an in-depth understanding of update-manager).
- Identify distribution-specific code and decouple it from update-manager's core functionality, possibly adding some sort of "add-on" interface.
- (optional?) Replace the synaptics-backend with a new backend based on python-apt.
Even though a PackageKit backend is desirable at some point it seems that PackageKit is not ready for Debian yet (or the other way round), as it basically breaks debconf (no interaction in transactions allowed, see PackageKit wiki page, Hughsie's Law). To be able to easily migrate to PackageKit when it becomes ready for production-use on Debian a plugin interface for package managament backends could be added to update-manager though. The plugin interface can probably be seen as requirement for adding a python-apt interface.