DeveloperWiki:Community move to devtools

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Proposal: Make [community] use the same repository system as [core] or [extra].

Result: The proposal was passed on 23 Jan 2009. The [community] repository has recently moved to a new server and has been moved to the SVN/devtools setup. Shell accounts have been created for Trusted Users. See the following threads for details on the transition:

The above thread contains the initial discussion on this proposal.

For quite a while, [community] in Arch has led an almost independent existence, being tightly coupled with the AUR. Many improvements have been made in the workflow of package distribution in 'devtools' which are used for uploading and managing packages in the [core] and [extra] repositories.

This proposal suggests that the [community] repository move to using the same repository system as [core] or [extra]. The benefits and detriments of the proposal, along with the technical steps to complete the transition (if the proposal were to be passed) are discussed below.


  • It might affect the autonomy of Trusted Users, and this is a big change from the way we've been used to.
  • The effort to make the transition happen is not trivial.
  • You'd lose votes for community packages.
  • You'd lose package comments and notifications.
  • Combining community packages with official packages will contribute a performance hit for all repos when dealing with build files.

Note: We may still be able to keep community packages in the AUR interface. It will just take a bit of patching of community scripts to keep them.


  • There'll be fewer tools to support, since Trusted Users would then use the same tools as Arch developers, but with reduced permissions (only permission to write to the [community] repository)
  • It'd be much easier to create and maintain a [community-testing] repository (or even the [testing] repository, if it's possible to cleanly separate the relevant permissions). A testing repository for [community] would be a great help in doing rebuilds.
  • It'll be easier to migrate from being a Trusted User to a developer, since all the repositories would be using the same infrastructure. A simple permissions change, and they could be uploading packages to [core] or [extra].
  • [community] would naturally become more decoupled from the AUR. Packages in [community] would become visible on the main Arch website, giving greater visibility to [community]. Also the search function on the website would then be able to search across all the repositories.
  • The AUR code becomes greatly simplified, making code refactoring or rewrites easier.

Technical steps for the transition


  • devtools/db-scripts have to be patched for [community]. ABS also has to be patched.
  • Decide what's to be done on the web frontend side (AUR, main Arch site) and then do it!
  • CVS to SVN migration. This would not be much of a problem since there would be scripts from the main repository migration lying around.

Behind the scenes

  • Admins would now need to maintain user accounts for new TUs or when TUs leave.
  • Quotas will probably need to be implemented for disk/cpu/ram usage, as we open gerolde up to way more user accounts in one fell swoop
phrakture 12:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)

The most important objective of this proposal is to make [community] use the same infrastructure (devtools, etc.) as the Arch official repositories [core] and [extra]. Technical details about how the transition is to be made (whether [community] and AUR should be totally decoupled, for example) need to be discussed.