[ros-users] GSoC 2013

William Woodall william at osrfoundation.org
Thu Apr 25 19:04:45 UTC 2013

On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 4:55 AM, Ankur Sinha <sanjay.ankur at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I was looking through the list of suggested topics on the gsoc page[1]
> and ran into this one:
> "Develop ROS independent library for system dependency resolution"
> I was wondering if I could maybe have some more information on this. For
> instance, is the end goal something like "packagekit"[2], that can sit
> on top of the various package managers and make system libraries easier
> to install?

Yes the role of the proposed tool is something like Packagekit.

> Packagekit doesn't have it's own dep solver, it just calls
> the various package managers in it's back-end and lets them do their
> thing.

This is the case for rosdep too, except for in the case of inter package
manager dependencies. For instance, the order in which you install packages
from pip and homebrew matters on OS X. Therefore the tool would need to
calculate the dep graph between the dependencies and call pip and homebrew
in an interleaved fashion.

See: https://github.com/ros/rosdep/pull/3

> Quoting the website: "Formally, PackageKit is a D-Bus abstraction
> layer that allows the session user to manage packages in a secure way
> using a cross-distro, cross-architecture API." From the description of
> the gsoc project, a lot of work seems to already have been done in
> packagekit. (There's a command line packagekit client too, it isn't just
> a GUI)

I think the reliance on D-Bus might actually be a limitation here. It is
possible that Packagekit could be part of the solution, but it obviously
doesn't extend to Homebrew or Macports on OS X nor does it integrate with
pip or gem.

> I'm a fedora package maintainer, part of the fedora robotics sig and
> have been assisting Rich Mattes with packaging Fuerte for Fedora. I'm
> currently reviewing the packages he puts up. I'm therefore aware of some
> of the challenges that need to be overcome to get ROS easily deployed on
> $random_distro. I'm a masters by research student at the University of
> Technology, Sydney. I'm using ROS for my research which uses the PR2 as
> a platform (hence my interest in ROS). My research is to do with
> navigation, where I focus on biological inspired navigation (head
> cells/place cells/continuous attractor neural networks and the sort)

Thanks for your interest! Moving forward, I believe you need to submit a
proposal through the GSoC website and introduce yourself on the OSRF GSoC
mailing list which Stephen linked.

> [1] http://wiki.osrfoundation.org/gsoc13
> [2] http://www.packagekit.org/pk-intro.html
> --
> Thanks,
> Warm regards,
> Ankur: "FranciscoD"
> Please only print if necessary.
> Looking to contribute to Fedora? Look here:
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_Join_SIG
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Ankursinha
> http://ankursinha.in/blog
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William Woodall
ROS Development Team
william at osrfoundation.org
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