Bug#610298: phasing out tar-in-tar in source packages
tar-in-tar source packages, i.e. Debian source packages which contains upstream
sources in compressed form and uncompress them on the fly during the build
process, are a bit of a PITA. They are particularly so for tools who want to do
source code analyses on the code shipped by debian (e.g. the recently started
DACA project) but, more generally, violate a good faith assumption that
"apt-get source" will deliver an unpacked source package where the user can
grep through upstream source code.
I haven't conducted an analyses of the amount of tar-in-tar source packages in
the Debian archive (sorry about that), but per folklore it seems that there are
very few such packages remaining in the archive. I guess this is so because
tar-in-tar was mostly used to circumvent the lack of support for non-gzip
compression in source packages, feature which is now provided by 3.0 source
Considering all the above, it would be nice if policy could start to discourage
tar-in-tar, at least with a "should" (not) requirement. A potentially
appropriate place where to mention that seems to be §4.8 "Restrictions on
objects in source packages".
Thanks for considering and many thanks in advance,
PS en passant: appendix §C.3 seems to be out of date wrt source formats 3.0,
but it's not normative, so it's not a big deal
-- System Information:
Debian Release: 6.0
APT prefers unstable
APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'testing')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)
Kernel: Linux 2.6.32-5-amd64 (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=it_IT.utf8, LC_CTYPE=it_IT.utf8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
debian-policy depends on no packages.
debian-policy recommends no packages.
Versions of packages debian-policy suggests:
ii doc-base 0.9.5 utilities to manage online documen
-- no debconf information