Last week, Canonical invited the MySQL packaging team in Debian to a packaging sprint in their London office, and most of us were able to participate. We’ve met online on IRC and UOSs before, but this was the first time we were all in the same room.
The results of our sprint will soon be available in a .deb near you. Since Debian Jessie is currently in feature freeze, most of it will hit Ubuntu first. The two main things we achieved on the MySQL side were to make MySQL 5.6 ready for Ubuntu Vivid (15.04) and to split MySQL, Percona and MariaDB configuration files. The configuration file split reduces coupling between MySQL and variant packages, and it is key to solving most of the challenges the team faces. We can now do packaging work on one variant without coordinating with all the others. That is a major achievement!
In addition to this, we also made smaller improvements: parallel builds and MTR test runs, defined and implemented a test plan in order to run the right tests at the right time (build vs. DEP8), and cleanup of the debian/rules file. Not all of this is visible to the end user, but to the package maintainers it’s a big deal.
Time flies when you’re having fun, so when the week was over, we still had more we’d like to do with the packages. The work will continue, but at least most of the heavy lifting is now done. I don’t think we ever would have got this far without meeting in person.
Let me end by extending my thanks to Canonical for organizing and hosting this sprint! It was really useful and fun! I think we all achieved and learned a lot. So once again, to Canonical and everybody that participated, thank you, and merry Christmas!