[Pkg-nx-group] Still active?

Stefan Lippers-Hollmann s.L-H at gmx.de
Tue Apr 18 23:54:55 UTC 2006


On Tuesday 18 April 2006 22:54, Mario Fux wrote:
> Good morning
> Is there still any activity in packaging nx for debian?

Interested in packaging for sure, but getting it into an acceptable state is 
another issue.

FreeNX upstream has been dead since august last year, with some activity in 
FreeNX 0.5/ svn in february - 0.4.5 still isn't officially released but 
tagged (and retagged) in svn, originally meant to be released at aKademy 
2005. Therefore I am waiting with injecting it into alioth SVN until the 
pristine upstream tarball gets released. Although it seems 0.4.x is rather 
abandoned (containing quite some unfixed session/ suspend related bugs) and 
all efforts going into 0.5.0. 
In the mean time I do provide current FreeNX 0.4.x/ svn packages at [1], 
waiting to be merged with alioth as soon as there is any upstream release. 
I will switch to FreeNX 0.5/ svn soon.

The NX libraries are an issue of their own, this 
is still valid in every extent. Actually it became even worse in 
combination with X11R7 (I'm still working on xkb related bugs, nxviewer is 
totally ftbs right now - although this might be related to xutils-dev's/ 
xmkmf's current state).

So what is the status of the the "nx" source (package) right now:
- monolithic build structure largely based on Imake, strong interdepedencies 
between different upstream tarballs.
- code duplication of nx-X11: XFree86 4.3.0/ random cvs snapshot
	- lots of unused code, partly even complied but thrown away afterwards
- code duplication of nxssh: openssh fork, fortuneately not necessary for 
the server part, but OSS clients might depend on it.
- code duplication of nxviewer: TightVNC fork, ftbs with X11R7.
- code duplication of nxdesktop: rdesktop fork.
- nxagent is not 64 bit safe, basically i386 and eventually ppc32 only, 
interaction with other libraries isn't safe either
- private zlib copy

NX 2.0 (not too far away) promises to fix or improve some of these issues, 
what really enters the release remains to be seen.

No really acceptable FOSS nx client package available:
- kNX suffers severe bit rot. no ssl support, basic nx 1.5.0 compatibility 
patches provided by SuSE, basically it's still prove of concept code.
- gNX and nxdriver never left the drawing board. 
Requirements for main could formally be met by packaging nxshell, developed 
by SuSE, which can connect using nx libraries, but that is far away from 
being enduser compatible.

In the mean time I'm maintaining a monolithic build [2], [3] in usable, but 
inacceptable from debian's - or any reasonable - point of view, state and 
try to split out at least nxdesktop/ nxviewer whenever I have some spare 
time left. Nxproxy (mostly used for debugging purposes) will become a 
seperate (source-) package as soon as basic X11R7 issues are fixed. 
Necessary patches are kept seperate to be directly usable by independent 
source packages (after adding the standard dpatch header).

Quintessence: Unless someone steps up who has really lots of spare time and 
deeper knowledge of X11 internals to weed out nx-X11 and fix the issues 
mentioned above, basically doing upstream work in close cooperation with 
NoMachine, NX won't ever get into a releaseable state. This is most 
probably true at least for NX 1.x.
I hope that quite a few things get better as soon as NX 2.0 is released, but 
even that will require lots of work.

Any help concerning this is really appreciated.

So what is the status of pkg-nx?
Waiting for better starting positions, while maintaining basic operations, I 

> thx
> Mario

	Stefan Lippers-Hollmann

[1]:	http://debian.tu-bs.de/project/kanotix/unstable/pool/nx/f/freenx/
[2]:	http://debian.tu-bs.de/project/kanotix/unstable/pool/nx/n/nx/
[3]:	deb http://debian.tu-bs.de/project/kanotix/unstable/ sid nx
	deb-src http://debian.tu-bs.de/project/kanotix/unstable/ sid nx
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