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Re: The get-orig-source target as stated in Policy 4.9

Andres Mejia wrote:
On Tuesday 19 February 2008 12:21:09 am Alexander Schmehl wrote:

* Andres Mejia <mcitadel@gmail.com> [080218 17:54]:
I've been told that the policy for the get-orig-source target states that
it "...fetches the most recent version of the original source
package...". However, I've seen others using the get-orig-source target
to regenerate the orig tarball for their packages at a particular
version. I've been doing this as well. Some packages doing this are
warsow, ogre, fretsonfire, bulletml, and warzone2100.
And I've people jumping a red light.  That doesn't mean that it's legal

So my question is, when Policy states "the most recent version", is it
"the most recent version _in Debian_" or "the most recent version
Well... beside that getting the most recent version in Debian would be
quite boring (just fetch it from a mirror and compare a checksum), I
don't know how policy section 4.9 could be read to mean something else
than the most recent upstream version:

4.9 Main building script: debian/rules

get-orig-source (optional)

    This target fetches the most recent version of the original source
    package from a canonical archive site (via FTP or WWW, for example),
    does any necessary rearrangement to turn it into the original source
    tar file format described below, and leaves it in the current


Nowhere in this paragraph is Debian or it's archive mentioned; and while
it mentiones the term "source package" it specifically mentions the
"original source package", and the original is made by upstream, isn't

Alright, let's remember that Debian Policy 4 is talking about "Source Packages". If you start reading from the beginning, it becomes clear that "source package" signifies the source package used in Debian. This may lead to the confusion with the get-orig-source target.

Not if you think of the purpose of the target.

Furthermore, if we want to get literal about the get-orig-source policy and look at the term "...the most recent version...", then we must start factoring in development versions of packages when we consider writing the get-orig-source target.

What I would like to know is, what was the original purpose for the get-orig-source target. Maybe that would clear up what the get-orig-source target is supposed to do.

It supposed to let you, as a developer, upgrade the source package easier to the next upstream release (or non-release, see "from svn" snapshots or similar).

This is especially useful when you have to purge the upstream source of non-free material or when you do repackage the orig tarball.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" A.Einstein

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