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policy clarification for source packages

My recent bug report (7598) has (for me at least) brought out the
fact that there is a not a common understanding with regard to
what one should expect to see in the Debian source packages.

I had been under the impression that the idea of the source packages,
combined with the copyright statement, was to give a user a
road map showing him exactly how he can retrace the construction of
a Debian source from some specified public archive.  If this were the
policy, the user would be informed of the exact location (including 
filename) of the original source(s), and the locations of whatever 
patches where applied.

The objectives of this approach would be:
a) support users who are trying to do debugging or enhancement on 
   their own;  
b) improve security by providing public identification of the source 
c) helps propagate improvements upstream by explicitly differentiating 
   and identifying the Debian patches; and
d) enable development of a BOGUS-like distribution.

Any other approach leads, I think, to Debian's distribution of 
a package effectively becoming an independent source tree, which I
had thought was an outcome to be avoided.  

If there is broad agreement on this issue, then the policy manual
should be amended to say so.

Susan Kleinmann

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