Finding a new name for the Package Tracking System

The Google Summer of Code rewriting the Package Tracking System is approaching its end and I’m starting to think about deploying it on Its scope has expanded over the years and the rewritten PTS will continue this trend by bringing some new features for teams (like the possibility to subscribe to all packages of a team).

I believe that its current hostname (and name) doesn’t reflect properly the role of the PTS. Add to this the fact that there’s still some work left to be done to reach feature-parity with the current PTS, I’m considering deploying it in parallel to the current PTS under a new name.

“Package Tracking System” is also a bit too long for a name, and sounds more like a description than a name…

But if I get rid of “” and “Package Tracking System”, how should we call the new PTS? 🙂

The PTS is a sort of central place that brings together information from many parts of Debian. It’s currently mainly a consumer/dispatcher of information but I expect to integrate some of the external services that are useful for all Debian derivatives, and it will thus become more and more a producer of first-hand information as well.

To replace, Stefano Zacchiroli suggested me and I must say I like it, it’s short and relatively close to what the PTS actually is (and reminds me of DEP-2 — the new PTS will be an asset to make it a reality). My other ideas were,,,, … do you have better suggestions? what’s your preference?

Finding a better name is harder, but there’s room to build on the hub concept and similar images. I would like a full name that’s not too long and an associated abbreviation/short name for the top-level Python package (currently we use “pts” for that Python package). Can you come up with something original and satisfactory?

My latest thoughts end up with “DistroHub” as full name and “dhub” as Python package name. Still boring…

So, dear lazy web, I heard that we’re good at bikeshedding in Debian, so can you come up with something better? Share your suggestions in the comments!


  1. says

    I think I prefer devel, which is understandable in most languages. To a non-native English speaker as me, hub does not evoke anything but a network device or a large airport… I think inside is wrong, because it would evoke something far more generic such as some kind of intranet site. Same for watch, which has too many meanings, the most important one being: something that gives the time of the day! track is an interesting idea for a name, but again, I think it has too many meanings and does not evoke something very specific.

    What about: status, activity or work? Or wazzup ? 😉

  2. Sterfield says

    Based on the fact that the PTS is gathering all the information about a package, how about “” ?

  3. says

    Other ideas given on IRC:
    – madduck suggested “dashboard”, and I add that we could call it “distribution-dashboard” and a short name of “db2” (as in DistriBution DashBoard)
    – paultag suggested “panopticon”

    • says

      I like “dashboard”, which I think describes exactly what it is, but I do not see why it would be necessary to specify “distribution”. And if it is, why not “distro-dashboad”? I think the db2 acronym is too cryptic.

    • says

      I like dashboard. Why not db2 is too obscure imho. As for package name, why ‘dhub’, presumably ‘ddashboard’, etc., why not ‘debian-hub’ or ‘debian-dashboard’?

      • says

        The top-level python package is just a grouping name but it’s typed in each and every “import statement” so a long string is really painful.
        “from pts.core.models import ExtractedSourceFile” is ok
        “from debian_dashboard.core.models import ExtractedSourceFile” is rather annoying IMO

  4. Martin says

    I like the name “Package Tracking System” and the URL p.q.d.o is fine with me. No need for a change, but of course I don’t object against a change.

  5. says

    I am fond of “Packaging Tracking System”, with a nicer URL, Please don’t change it. Also, ‘pts’ as the Python package is perfect. It also goes nicely with BTS, “Bug Tracking System”.

      • says

        Looks like many people like to keep some reference to the concept of “tracking” so might be a good choice. And it would be the “Debian Meta Tracker” because it tracks many things including other trackers (bug tracker, etc.).

        • says

          Some people find “Meta” a bit too meta, aka a bit too abstract. So more variants:
          – Debian Über Tracker (DUT)
          – Debian Super Tracker (DST == French NSA ;-))
          – Debian Ultimate Tracker

          • says

            IMHO, if the name “Debian” still clearly can be inferred elsewhere from the new page, you do not need to call it “Debian foo bar”. Simple solution which would not break backward compatibility to how people got their habits to call it, would be simply call it “Package Tracker. 🙂 or, “(Debian) Package Tracker” when applicable.

            It is still shorter, as you avoid the unnecessary “System”, 🙂 Feels kind of natural, I think.

          • says

            I agree with Niels that parts that can be inferred, for instance from the domain name (Debian), or that add not information (system) should be avoided to keep the name as light as possible.

            Package tracker would be an interesting name, as we already have the patch tracker for instance.

          • says

            Package Tracker is too-much package centric. Something like the Patch Tracker is typically something that I’d like to merge in the “Meta Tracker”. It would be useful for derivatives as well and doesn’t need a dedicated service. So we track packages, patches, people, teams, bugs, etc.

          • says

            Well, in that case, perhaps you could name it after the parent object: (Debian) Tracker? 🙂

            Note, “Package Tracker” would still be OK , if you somehow can argue that the package still remains as the top-level object. (I have no real clue here.)

          • says

            More variations with adjectives:
            – Debian Extreme Tracker
            – Debian Omni Tracker
            – Debian Ultra Tracker
            – Debian Mega Tracker
            – Debian Hyper Tracker
            – Debian Master Tracker
            – Debian Top Tracker

  6. John says – like hub but a bit more valuable as there wouldn’t be more than one core. Nice and short too.

  7. says

    So, let’s try again:
    – Software Name: Distro Tracker
    – Debian package name: distro-tracker
    – Python top level package: dtrak (aka python-dtrak for the corresponding binary package)
    – Service name: == Debian Tracker

    • Dirk says


      I must confess that I don’t like the word “tracker”.

      “”, or maybe bettrer “”. John mentioned already. Since simply hub sounds a bit plain and meaningless, I like “debianhub”, but this doesn’t sound well together with “” So change it to your suggestion of “DistroHub” and it would be good. The name should not only point to the purpose, but should sound a bit arfully.

      So “DistrHub” or “DistroCore” is good! :).

  8. Charles Plessy says

    It is very exciting to see the new PTS being created and opening the way to a finer definion of the developers’ involvement as suggested in DEP 2. The PTS reminds me the boards holding t-shaped cards used for planning. Maybe would be even simpler than Tracker is fine as well, but suggest more a system where users have their own page and select the display of specific issues of interest. I like “trackage” as well, it sounds so Frenglish 🙂

    In any case, thanks a lot for this good work.

  9. Sytoka says

    Hop, I took my britanny dictionary and find : skluz
    That mean ‘sluice/lock or in french “écluse”. All barges must pass through the sluice in a canal…

    Another idea: a spider. Classic but in britanny : kevnid !

    Words are there to open horizons…

  10. says

    I just noticed you already decided on a name. Maybe I shouldn’t read and comment on articles from oldest to newest 😉