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MVHub.com NorthShorePort.org

 

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EMAAD'S BUILDING A DEBIAN  PACKAGE
Emaad Manzoor's big goal is to get a PhD from a major
American university and make an important contribution
to Computer Science. He is an undergrad student at the
Birla Institute of Technology and Science - Pilani, 
Goa Campus, India. Before working with us he was a 
Teaching Assistant, when he finishes with us, he'll
be interning at Yahoo. His site is worth a look:


    http://halfclosed.wordpress.com/

DEBIAN: A MATCH MADE IN INDIANA
Ian Murdock chooses to live in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 1993, Ian named the Debian/GNU Linux distribution
after his then-girlfriend Debra Lynn. The Debian
distribution is still going strong: Debra Lynn and
Ian are now divorced. Good thing he didn't get a tattoo.

A GNU/Linux distribution collects and packages free
software applications and an operating system to
work together. A package simplifies installing
and updating software. Users download and install
packages. Developers use the procedures, tools and
social norms defined by a GNU/Linux distribution
to create and improve packages to work alone and
together.

The Apple (iPhone) app store launched in 2007,
17 years after Debian. Like Debian, the Apple
App store has political standards. App store
applications can't compete with an existing
Apple product (Google Voice!). Applications
accepted in Debian need only be free, and
useful.

Debian's freedom definition allows*anyone*  these
software freedoms:

                          *use
                          *study
                          *improvement
                          *redistribution

*Anyone*  means anyone. Republicans, People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the military
– anyone who does not restrict the above freedoms
for others.

WHAT DEBIAN DOES FOR US
For political and technical reasons, we want our
software included in Debian and Debian derivatives
(Ubuntu). Like Debian, we support freedom. We want
a Debian package so our software doesn't take 2 hours
to install, otherwise no one outside the Boston area
will use it.

We want people to use our software so that people aren't
hungry while food rots in warehouses.

EMAAD AND DEBIAN MAKE IT BETTER
Package systems eliminate complexity. Comprised of 334
files, our MVHub application won't work without installing
60 other libraries and applications. Most people aren't
smart enough to install our software. Sometimes, we're
not smart enough to install our software.

Emaad works for the less smart people: he's packaging our
software to comply with the strict rules for creating a Debian
package. Installing MVHub now requires approximately 20 steps
and 1-2 hours: Emaad's goal is to shrink complexity to 4 steps
and 10 minutes.

INSTALLED, BUT STILL USELESS
Using the Debian package system is easy: being the sort
of person that runs Debian is difficult.

Unfortunately, when Emaad is finished, church ladies in
Peoria still won't be able to install and configure our
software. We have more work before new friends can create
PeoriaPort.org with the MVHub software and connect homeless
people to an Illinois shelter.

MVHub.com and NorthShoreport.org are useful only in the
Boston area. As no ‘add directory’ or ‘change service area’
commands exist, users can’t adapt the directory to their
own needs. Currently, only programmers can create
OrangeCounty.com.

Emaad's target users are volunteer developers, not
Peoria church ladies. If somebody can give 2 hours
work to our project, and it takes 2 hours to install
our software, there is no gain for anyone.

BETTER AND EASY ARE NOT THE SAME
The prophet Joel proclaims rewriting software is
better than throwing it away and starting from
scratch.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

Better and easy aren't the same thing. For example,
it usually takes less than 5 minutes to push new
code into production on the live MVHub.com and
NorthShoreport.org sites. Unfortunately, the
production-pushing scripts depend on libraries
that are not, by default, included with a Debian
system. For more geeky details see:

  https://lists.launchpad.net/mvhub-dev/msg00562.html

Before Emaad started, using our setup scripts on a
fresh system required extensive manual labor. Now,
the prerequisites are installed almost automatically.
For details see:

FINAL GOSSIP
If you have a picture of Debra Lynn (ex Murdock),
please send it to us. We have spent too much time
on this task to give up now.