Re: debian source format
Matt Birkholz writes:
>>Brune Perens writes:
>>I also agree that we should be distributing the original packages
>>with diff files, rather than patched packages with diff
>>files. Perhaps we should make that change while doing the ELF
>I tried to make some noise about this too. The first con below, which
>recently surfaced, made me think twice.
> * Cons:
> * Original distribution tarchives sometimes unpack into the current
> directory. This may torture the novice.
It's much worse than that. A Debian package may correspond to multiple
upstream packages; or even just parts of multiple upstream packages.
Once you've downloaded the right ones, you still have to put them back
together in the right way.
> * An extra "patch" step is needed to build the package. (Why isn't
> this step in the debian.rules makefile?)
That question doesn't seem to make sense. In the current scheme it's
unnecessary; in the alternative scheme the debian.rules makefile
simply isn't there until you've applied the patch.
What exactly were you trying to get at?
> * Pros:
> * No worries about whether the bug you've found was introduced by the
> original author or the Debian package maintainer. Specifically,
> you need not download another large .tar.gz to make sure.
How does that follow? Either way it's equally easy (or hard) to look
at the diffs to see where the changes are.
If we distribute Debianised source, you only have to apply the patch
if you specifically want a non-Debianised version (and we are supposed
to be distributing the source to Debian rather than anything else,
yesno?); whereas if we supply the untouched source you have to apply
the patch every time you want to compile up something you want to be
able to install sensibly on a Debian system.
It's pretty clear which is the more common operation for Debian users.
> * Most package changes are in the Debian portions, so only the (much
> smaller) .diff.gz file needs to be up/downloaded.
Currently taking a diff file and applying it to the original source
will get you the Debianised source, which is exactly what it will do
under this proposed alternative scheme. Therefore the diffs in both
schemes must be identical.
> Note that version number changes in both may make the large
> .tar.gz appear to be out-of-date. Does the FTP site encourage
> the use of the rename command? Of course, use of the rename
> command may torture mirrors. Maybe the .tar.gz need not be
> renamed. The .diff.gz name could describe the .tar.gz version
> patched from and the debian package version patched to -- ala
> the GNU FTP site.)
>Of course, there is always the facile pro/con argument "Who cares?".
>I am not sure it amounts to a hill of beans. If you are munging
>source packages, you shouldn't be surprised to be treated as an
>expert, capable of background downloads, wary of reverse patches,
>cautious of reporting bugs in second generation distributions...
It's in no way clear that the current arrangement is broken.