In order to be as friendly as possible, distributions in this repository should follow the naming pattern demonstrated by the Ubuntu project. (For example, Ubuntu uses hardy, hardy-updates, and hardy-security as names of related distributions.) Distribution names MUST NOT conflict with names already used upstream in order to make it possible to build composite repositories. These composite repositories, a combination of upstream ubuntu packages and these packages, would be useful for building DVD images for those in bandwidth-challenged areas and so it is desirable to make this process as easy as possible.
The basic naming standard for a distribution is proposed to be BASE-sil-SUBTYPE where BASE is the name of the upstream release and the optional -SUBTYPE refers to a specialized distribution.
- hardy-sil : Packages built for Ubuntu Hardy (Fits goal 4)
- hardy-sil-testing : Testing packages for Ubuntu Hardy (Fits goal 4)
- hardy-sil-experimental : Experimental/beta software (Fits goal 3)
- lenny-sil : Same as above except for Debian Lenny
- intrepid-sil-restricted : Similar to above but for software that is not DFSG free
From the perspective of this repository, the main distribution, called *-sil, is where supported packages for software are going to be found. This is the distribution that we would expect normal users to use.
The purpose for *-sil-testing is to ensure that the packaging is correct, can be installed/uninstalled, etc. before moving the package to the main distribution. This is for testing the packaging, not the software. This stage is important for those in bandwidth challenged areas who may need a newer version then in the upstream release, but can't afford the bandwidth to continually download packages for tiny fixes. This distribution allows more extensive testing to be performed on the package before those with expensive internet connections spend the bandwidth to download the file. Packages in this distribution are intended to be ready for for "normal users" and it should be reasonable for those with good internet connections to use this source as long as they don't mind potentially more frequent package updates. All packages destined for *-sil first transition through this distribution in order to give a chance to work out any bugs in the packaging.
In order to make it easier to eventually integrate these packages into Debian and Ubuntu, the *-sil-restricted* distributions are used to segregate software that is not DFSG free. A separate distribution is warranted to clearly note these cases, particularly since the incremental cost of an additional distribution is small. Ideally, all of the software in this repository will be licensed so that it can be directly included in Debian. However, distributions with these names will exist in the case that there is software with licenses that don't allow it.
Distributions named *-sil-experimental are used for beta versions of software that are not necessarily of "release quality" as determined by the upstream developer and for testing possibly disruptive changes in the packaging. The goal for this distribution is to get the "latest and greatest" versions of software out to testers who are prepared to be testers and to fulfill goal 3) as listed above. There is even room for "daily builds" of the software in this category if desired. (Most likely those in bandwidth challenged areas are not going to be able to afford to use this.) It is expected that those who use packages from this distribution be able to fix their own systems if something happens to go wrong. Due to its inherent nature, *-sil-experimental distributions will only exist for those base releases that the software developers are actively using. Unlike *-sil or *-sil-testing distributions which will likely stay around for a long period of time, when the developers no longer have need for a *-sil-experimental distribution, it may be deleted. Also, packages will be removed from this distribution as required. If a package with a higher version number is uploaded to *-sil-testing, then the corresponding package should be removed from *-sil-experimental automatically.