Monday, August 13, 2007

Packaging and Testing in Ubuntu Gutsy

I've been wanting to dabble in Packaging for Ubuntu. Especially after seeing that Flock - my favorite social browser - isn't available. So I took my printed copy of Ubuntu Packaging Guide and started following the instructions there. I managed to Debianize the Hello, world! program, but it's not enough! I need Flock.

I've searched for Flock's source code but found that it's already Debianized. Too bad, but I won't give up. Especially since it's not yet avaible for Ubuntu. I'll probably work with Firefox and compare my work with the production copy. That'll get me going. Then I'll start working with Flock. I'll be using Debian's copy for comparison. Well, I'll get right on with it once I'm done with Igobot, Irssi, and Vim. Probably after a day or two.

So for those who want to contribute by Packaging applications, I suggest you look into this two guides:

  1. The Ubuntu Packaging Guide and
  2. The Debian New Maintainers' Guide
Look no further. Don't pollute your mind and waste your time with other references, manuals, and guides. These two guides are the only thing you need when starting out. Why? Because it's comprehensive and will point you to another manual When you're ready and When you need it. Focus! Just focus on these two guides.

And for those with slow Internet connection, download the packaged guides by issuing this command:

sudo aptitude install packaging-guide maint-guide

And then access them using Firefox here:
  1. The Ubuntu Packaging Guide
  2. The Debian New Maintainer's Guide
To prevent Dependency issues, setup a Chroot(ed) Environment. Go through the manual and package the Hello, world! program, but once you're done, set it up immediately. Trust me, you'll need it. You don't want to mess up your system now, do you? It can be accessed here:

Chroot Environment

Next up is Testing Gutsy. I've started testing out development versions of Ubuntu starting with Feisty Beta 2. With Gutsy, I installed Tribe 3. And I think I'll make it a habit from now on. I'll probably start with Tribe 2 everytime a new release is out.

Why do I want to do this? Let's face it, Ubuntu needs testers. We need you. In order to make sure that Ubuntu's final release is stable, we need Ubuntu tested on different hardware with different conditions and environments. I've used Windows, and I found that Alpha releases are reminiscent of Windows. I'm not kidding. There are even times when it's stable(r) than Windows. Point here is, I wanted to make sure that the Ubuntu you'll install on your system works. By installing development releases, I get to discover bugs which I'll be reporting, and which will get fixed before the next release.

This is how I contribute to the community. Besides, since I'm starting development work, the exposure is beneficial for me. If you're interested in helping out Gutsy, check out this forum post here. It's very informative.

Blogged with Flock