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Attention kernel module project packagers!



Hi all,

there is currently a discussion about replacing the current kernel
module scheme ("kmod") with a new one ("kmdls"). This is because the
current scheme has some unfixable flaws. The proposed new scheme is
the one used at ATrpms, so if you ever used a kernel module package
from there you know how it is setup.

The kmdl approach has several nice features other than being resistant
to the design issues of the current setup.

* It is an interface/implementation design that can actually even be
  used for the current (broken) setup. The specfile remains invariant.

* It uses one specfile/src.rpm for both userland and kernel modules,
  e.g. one set of sources/patches/changelogs/bugzilla entries/owners.

* It is kernel and kernel-flavour agnostic, the same specfile/src.rpm
  can be used for any kernel/flavour combination, even for such that
  are yet to come.

* Has full yum-support with a 99-line python plugin, works even w/o
  the plugin with a couple more keystrokes.

* Is field-proven for several years and managed to never have to
  change the interface!

More details are on http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/AxelThimm/kmdls

It is important for FC6 and RHEL5 to make a decision on adopting
it. Currently GFS is being packaged in the old scheme which is known
to exhibit several flaws.

An argument against adopting kmdls presented by Thorsten Leemhuis is
that

* it's too late now to fix it, we should live on with kmod bugs for
  RHEL5's life-cycle (ending 2012 ...)

* too many packages for kmod are written (but actually there is only one
  in Fedora Extras 5, the rest is pending or in other repos and if
  other repos count, then ATrpms has several dozens of kmdls :)

I think the flaws are severe enough to immediate block the current
kmod standard especially it's propagation into RHEL. The wiki above
shows that the design flaws propagate throughout any attemt to "fix"
yum (note: yum is not broken, there the quotes in "fix") and finally
end with the requirement that only one kernel can be supported in any
point of time. This is neither acceptable by Fedora, and even less be
RHEL.

The number of packages following the kmod standard are quite few and I
hope that the authors will not mind using the kmdl standard, but
that's for you to say.

Especially if you are a kernel module package author or want to become
one: Please check the wiki and if you care about it join the
discussion at fedora-packaging - reply-to set to that list, please
don't scatter the discussion on fedora-extras and fedora-devel, I'm
only calling for participation in the discussion to get this nailed
once and for all. Thanks!
-- 
Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net

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