Switching from phpGroupware to eGroupware ?

We’re seriously considering switching from phpGroupware to eGroupware for some infrastructure needed for a picoforge-based platform that we need to deploy soon.

phpGroupware is unfortunately kinda dead these days, whereas eGroupware seems to have managed to keep some momentum.

Of course we had preferred keeping with phpGroupware when the two projects initially switched apart, in particular because the GNU project-linked QA/copyright policies were a guarantee that our contributions may be better protected in such a collaboration environment (we tried and help the phpGroupware as much as we could, btw, and parts of this history is told when looking at : http://www-public.it-sudparis.eu/~berger_o/weblog/tag/phpgroupware/).

But the copyright policy is not all about successful collaboration, and it happens that phpGroupware fails to deliver from quite a few months now. Btw, I’m not so close to the project to tell exactly what’s happening and why, but looking at the mailing-lists, at least, the situation looks very bad.

So I dare say it lound : the phpGroupware project is quietly dying (at least from my point of view).

But as we need some improvements that were initially planned for its 0.9.18 release (filemanager, accounts, various stuff I’m not really qualified to list completely)… we need to consider what the options are…

And fortunately, it looks like eGroupware has not forked in a too much differing way, from a technical point of view, and that they have even improved some of the things we expected to be coming from phpGroupware 0.9.18.

So it’s very much likely that we’re going to try and switch to eGroupware for some parts of the platform to be deployed in the next month.

This may not concern the whole of the PicoForge infrastructure but only a particular project that builds on top of the current PicoForge infrastructure, with some variations.

As for the future of PicoForge as the libre software forge, it’s not really clear what’s gonna happen, but I think that we may be making a more radical switch some day, for instance by forgetting the old legacy PHP code, and so neither depending on phpGroupware nor eGroupware, but using some more modern tools/frameworks (and why not something like Tine 2.0 ? … no, but we may be inspired by some of its characteristics ;).

Qui vivra verra.

Unofficial Debian packages for missing phpGroupware modules

I’ve updated the source package’s construction rules so that unofficial
Debian packages can be constructed for all phpGroupware modules not
officially included in the Debian archive (the new debian/rules and
associate stuff is only in our SVN at the moment, not yet in the
official Debian source package).

The trick is to regenerate the Debian packages with a special flag :
excerpt from http://svn.debian.org/wsvn/pkg-phpgroupware/trunk/svn-buildpackage/phpgroupware-0.9.16/trunk/debian/phpgroupware-0.9.16.README.Debian?op=file&rev=0&sc=0 :

Unofficial packages for other modules

You may try and re-generate local unofficial Debian packages for other
modules not maintained in the official Debian archives.

To do so, please unpack the Debian package sources, and rebuild it with the following command :

$ BUILD_NONDEBIAN=1 dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us -b -rfakeroot

Setting the BUILD_NONDEBIAN flag, will instruct the debian/rules
script to produce all the phpGroupware modules included in upstream's
tarball with a version whose suffix will be "-unoff1".

RISK (well, the same stands also even for the official packages, of
course). The Debian maintainers only provide this as a convenience for
phpGroupware users. Bugs should be reported upstream for these
unofficial packages.

I have generated and uploaded such packages in an unofficial archive at
http://picoforge.int-evry.fr/projects/svn/phpgwdeb/ (see
apt/sources.list instructions at
http://picoforge.int-evry.fr/projects/phpgwdeb/ )

Any comments, tests or feedback much welcome.

phpGroupware back in Debian lenny/testing

Cool. phpGroupware is back in the “testing” Debian distribution (a.k.a “lenny”). The package uploaded to unstable has nicely made its way through the 10 days delays without major problems, so it’s back in testing.

I hope it will make its way to the future stable too.

phpgroupware-0.9.16 in Debian’s NEW queue… unofficial binary packages available

phpGroupware 0.9.16 entered the NEW queue of Debian.

Meanwhile, interested users may test the packages following instructions at https://picoforge.int-evry.fr/cgi-bin/twiki/view/Phpgwdeb/Web/WebHome#Packages_availability

As you’ll see, the packages layout has changed a little bit compared to previous package, and not all phpgw apps are in (yet).

Update 20080314 : the package was refused because the (previously existing) copyright files were not precise enough on licenses relating to the program. Another try will follow as soon as I have completed my copyright/licenses review of the package contents (long and painfull 😉