Recently, I wanted to show how the buildservice makes packaging easier by creating a specfile template for you (just click the “Create RPM SPEC file templat” checkbox when creating a new package). Unfortunatelly, the template it creates is not really useful for someone not skilled in writing spec files. Also, it’s just a static template, so you have to write the summary and description even though you have just entered both in the web form. Definitely nothing to show off to newbies ;-). But knowing that the buildservice developers have more important stuff to do, and wanting to learn something new, I decided give it a try and fix it myself.
My idea is: The buildservice api asks a set of questions, which are presented by the client (webclient, osc, …) to the user, and creates a specfile based on these questions. Also, the api tries to suggest good defaults where possible. After spending some time learning ruby, rails and the api code, I have an ugly 200 line patch to the api that generates a working specfile for GNU hello ;-).
The user interface part is not yet done, but should be easy. What’s more chalenging is adding heuristics to “do the right thing”: detecting the build system (autotools, cmake, Makefile.PL, etc), detecting build dependencies, and so on. Right now, it only extracts the version number from the tar name.
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