Debian and the GNOME advisory board meeting

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Debian and the GNOME advisory board meeting

Chris Lamb -2
Hi Gnome/GTK developers,

Apologies for not sending this out sooner. As you know, Debian has a
seat on the Gnome Advisory Board which is due to meet soon. Not much is
officially-officially expected of Debian in this capacity, but I would
obviously like to raise any longer-term, roadmap or philosophy-oriented
issues in order to help you folks.

Previous issues that have been raised include getting some downstream
branding guidelines as well as syncing schedules as best as possible to
fit the distributions that have an "LTS" or release schedule that is
roughly equivalent at least in terms of the time between releases, ie.
Debian.

(Specific and/or entirely-technical issues on the upstream bug tracker
naturally would not be entirely appropriate unless you think I could
help unblock them, of course.)

So, yes, one provocative way of phrasing it might be... what sucks for
you or our users about being downstream from Gnome or GTK right now?
What is good..?

Thank you very much for your input.


Best wishes,

--
      ,''`.
     : :'  :     Chris Lamb
     `. `'`      [hidden email] / chris-lamb.co.uk
       `-

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Re: Debian and the GNOME advisory board meeting

Jonathan Carter (highvoltage)-2
Hi Chris

On 02/07/2018 18:10, Chris Lamb  wrote:
> (Specific and/or entirely-technical issues on the upstream bug tracker
> naturally would not be entirely appropriate unless you think I could
> help unblock them, of course.)
>
> So, yes, one provocative way of phrasing it might be... what sucks for
> you or our users about being downstream from Gnome or GTK right now?
> What is good..?
>
> Thank you very much for your input.

I've been meaning to file a bug for this, and I'm not sure weather it's
really an on-topic issue for the board, but it is squarely in the
category of something that really sucks badly on Gnome right now, and
that's how extensions to updates work, which is actually a big problem
in Debian.

A quick bit of background. If a user installs an extension from the
https://extensions.gnome.org website, it is installed under
~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions, when an updated extension from
the site is available, a notification is popped up prompting the user to
upgrade the package. So far, so good!

An administrator can also install a system-wide extension under
/usr/share/local/gnome-shell/extensions. Extensions installed here are
available system-wide for all users who wish to enable them. This is
also where we install extensions from Debian packages.

The problem is, when an extension is installed locally by a local
administrator or by a package, the user will still be prompted to
upgrade from the extensions website when a newer version is available
from there, which leads to a bunch of problems, firstly that a user can
be upgraded to a newer package with new bugs or that just isn't that
well supported on stable anymore. Also, in a corporate environment I
might have custom extensions installed that will then be upgraded to
versions from the shell-extensions site.

It would be great if there was better support for locally installed
packages, at least being able to disable extensions.gnome.org updates
for system-wide installed extensions would be good start. It would at
least put users at lower risk of breakage and malicious updates.

-Jonathan

--
  ⢀⣴⠾⠻⢶⣦⠀  Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) <jcc>
  ⣾⠁⢠⠒⠀⣿⡁  Debian Developer - https://wiki.debian.org/highvoltage
  ⢿⡄⠘⠷⠚⠋   https://debian.org | https://jonathancarter.org
  ⠈⠳⣄⠀⠀⠀⠀  Be Bold. Be brave. Debian has got your back.

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Re: Debian and the GNOME advisory board meeting

Chris Lamb -2
Hi Jonathan,

> It would be great if there was better support for locally installed
> packages, at least being able to disable extensions.gnome.org updates
> for system-wide installed extensions would be good start. It would at
> least put users at lower risk of breakage and malicious updates.

This latter point is certainly worth raising! Also seems somewhat
related to the installation of unmalicious-but-non-free software from
such sites.

> I've been meaning to file a bug for this, and I'm not sure weather it's
> really an on-topic issue for the board

Please do file a bug (or bugs).


Regards,

--
      ,''`.
     : :'  :     Chris Lamb
     `. `'`      [hidden email] / chris-lamb.co.uk
       `-

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Re: Debian and the GNOME advisory board meeting

Didier Roche-4
Le 03/07/2018 à 12:51, Chris Lamb a écrit :

> Hi Jonathan,
>
>> It would be great if there was better support for locally installed
>> packages, at least being able to disable extensions.gnome.org updates
>> for system-wide installed extensions would be good start. It would at
>> least put users at lower risk of breakage and malicious updates.
> This latter point is certainly worth raising! Also seems somewhat
> related to the installation of unmalicious-but-non-free software from
> such sites.
>
>> I've been meaning to file a bug for this, and I'm not sure weather it's
>> really an on-topic issue for the board
> Please do file a bug (or bugs).

Hey Chris,

We'll see each other at the adboard, but I'll be on the board's side
(for the last time, it seems ;)). Note that I restrained on purpose the
first discussions about extensions being part of a mod, but this can be
extended (see discussions and hints I gave)  to any system extensions.
For your information, it's a challenge the we face at ubuntu as well
since we switched to GNOME Shell.

I have tried to raise this on the mailing list in October:
https://mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-shell-list/2017-October/msg00034.html
After waiting and not hearing, I've go on and filed a bugzilla report
with patches: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=789852

I tried weekly pings on this issue, not getting a lot of tractions
upstream. I finally got some answers on
https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=789852#c14.
After trying (see following comments) many times to get an answer on my
followup, I did implement the set of patch on the "agreed" part (note
that there is several side effects of this discussions, like extensions
being part of a mod appearing as disabled).

Once GNOME Shell moved to gitlab, I rebased and opened the first GNOME
Shell MR: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/merge_requests/1
As you can see, despite pings on IRC, on gitlab and requests, it doesn't
seem to interest upstream, even if RHEL is using GNOME Classic and thus,
is impacted by it.

At the last resort, for our 18.04 LTS, I implemented a minimal distro
patch (), but I'm not fully satified as the finale solution is way
better (but really intrusive, so doesn't qualify as a maintainable
distro-patch).
https://git.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-desktop/ubuntu/+source/gnome-shell/tree/debian/patches/ubuntu_block_mode_extension_update.patch?id=65d8e54e48028903b626117d6f19a4aab42353fa

I would love someone not on the GNOME board to raise this again. We have
patches, it's a slight adaptation, and I think such issues from a distro
maintainance perspective (in particular in the corporation or support
mode) needs to be raised.

Thanks,
Didier

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Re: Debian and the GNOME advisory board meeting

Chris Lamb -2
Dear Didier,

> I would love someone not on the GNOME board to raise this again.

I will definiteley raise this. Thank you.


Regards,

--
      ,''`.
     : :'  :     Chris Lamb
     `. `'`      [hidden email] / chris-lamb.co.uk
       `-