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Re: [Health-dev] [tryton-debian] GNU Health in Debian

From: Mathias Behrle
Subject: Re: [Health-dev] [tryton-debian] GNU Health in Debian
Date: Thu, 9 May 2013 22:09:00 +0200

* Emilien Klein: " Re: [tryton-debian] GNU Health in Debian" (Thu, 9 May 2013
  14:34:20 +0200):

As promised here comes my review of gnuhealth as in trunk [1]:

1) General layout:

   Packaging all modules in one package breaks the modularity of Tryton. This
   way it will be impossible to reuse single modules. As already stated in a
   recent mail, this is a problem when using the relase tarball from
   [2]. As pointed out, it is alternatelively possible to package from the
   releases on This would provide separate modules and keep the
   modularity, which is one of the major features of the Tryton framework.
   NB: Besides a clean modular structure it would have saved the hacks in the
   rules file in override_dh_auto_install (removing health_qrcode etc.).

   My concept would have been:
   * Separate packages of the health modules in the namespace
     tryton-modules-health-* (as done generally for Tryton modules so far).
   * One package for all modules as done for tryton-modules-all
     - tryton-modules-all-health (superseeding health_profile the Debian way).
   * Additional packages containing the customized configuration like
     - tryton-server-gnuhealth
     - tryton-gnuhealth-allinone

   Apart from this I would talk (and talked already;) to GNU Health upstream, if
   they don't see advantages in handling their repositories like Tryton
   upstream. The current state is somewhat in between real modularity and a
   single module.
   Filed under [3].

2) Maintenance for different Tryton versions

   There is a reason behind Up to now there is no way to map
   the release *and* maintenance cycle of Tryton relases to Debian releases.
   Tryton has a strict timebased release cycle of 6 months, Debian is releasing
   appr. all 2 years. Tryton publishes bugfix releases for 2 years for every
   stable version. There is no way to get those bugfix releases into a stable
   release. That is exactly the point, why we are providing for the sake
   of Tryton users Debian packages for Tryton besides the official repositories.
   Until now you are forced to upgrade your users to Tryton bleeding edge,
   because this is, what will be in unstable. Do you really want to take this
   risk for users, that depend on the reliablity of their application and data
   (medical centers, doctors, etc.)? I certainly won't recommend that, and as
   Tryton contributors since version 1.0 never would do it with our customers.
   Perhaps the upcoming layout of PPA/DPA/*PA will allow to host those packages
   in Debian itself, but it will depend on the final layout.
   Of course we are offering you to maintain the gnuhealth packages on together with the possibility to publish versions suitable
   for different Tryton and Debian releases (besides the versions in Debian
   We are using the packaging workflow from git-stuff. If you are interested
   you are welcome.
   Filed under [4].

3) Copyright

   Please review the package for used licenses. 

   debian/copyright misses at least:
   - Copyright holder Cédric Krier (
   - Copyright holder *and* license for icons/*.svg

   Besides that I would have appreciated to credit the work of the Tryton
   maintainers, at least init script and default are taken from tryton-server.
   Filed under [5].

4) System user for the server

   Please drop creation and usage of the gnuhealth user.

   While it is obviously preferable to run a tryton server under a user
   account, it is generally not a good idea to run different servers under
   different users.
   trytond uses unoconv for document conversion. unoconv can be run as a
   service, which is preferable for performance reasons. To connect a tryton
   server to an unoconv session it must be run under the same user.
   Running the server under a different user as the tryton user created from
   tryton-server package itself IMO is needless and counterproductive. Probably
   this idea is a relict from GNU Health wiki, which is inspired from the wiki
   on, where we are describing a setup, when running trytond from
   Filed under [6].

5) Patch for man page

   This patch for just a typo seems a little bit overkill for me, but anyway:
   Did you forward it to upstream? Could you please insert DEP3 headers [7]?

6) gnuhealth-client package 

   What is the resoning behind creating the planned gnuhealth-client package?
   Is it really heavily customized or is this just to rename tryton-client to

7) TODO.Debian is outdated

   tryton-modules-stock-lot is downloadable for version 2.6 as well as 2.8
   for wheezy and for testing/unstable from an aptable repository on 2.8 hopefully soon in Debian itself...;)

Those are my first impressions on the gnuhealth package. 

Good luck with gnuhealth!


> 2013/5/9 Mathias Behrle <address@hidden>:
> [...]
>> In the meantime I discovered, that gnuhealth was packaged and uploaded to
>> experimental. The package for me has important issues. I am wondering, why
>> nobody got in contact with the maintainer of the other Tryton packages. I
>> will post my review and concerns on the gnuhealth package in another mail,
>> hopefully today.
> I'll be happy to read your comments. Please note that the version
> uploaded to experimental (gnuhealth 1.8.0-1) is already pretty old,
> i.e. in our repository we're working on version 1.8.1-1. One important
> and visible change is the renaming of the binary package from
> gnuhealth to gnuhealth-.server. Have a look at the SVN repo [0] before
> providing your feedback.
> Please make sure to CC the Debian Med team, as the GNU Health package
> is team-maintained (I just happen to be doing most changes currently,
> but the package was started before my contributions)
> I'll make a guess that you will have something to say about the
> gnuhealth-server service? ;)
> As a general comment: all feedback is welcome. This package is still
> pretty new, and far from being complete. Plans include creating 2 more
> binary packages (gnuhealth-client and gnuhealth, next to the current
> gnuhealth-server) that will allow for easy installation of either only
> the server components, the client components, or all components on the
> same machine. The reasoning behind the separate gnuhealth-server
> daemon is to be able to provide Tryton with a customized configuration
> (such as database info and custom port), to reduce the impact on an
> eventual Tryton server already running on that machine.
>    +Emilien
> [0]



    Mathias Behrle
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