Re: Proposal: New source format (was Re: [Fwd: Re: dpkg question])
> 1. If the upstream source packages are to be included bit-for-bit in their
> original form, how are you going to unpack them? Remember, you _have_
> to handle all formats: .zip, .tar.tar, .shar, binhex, multiple files,
> comp.binaries.* postings, ... That's an awful lot of complexity in the
> packaging tools.
Not really. You could handle it just like redhat does in the srpm files: you
have a shell script that is responsible for unpacking the package into a
specific directory and applying all patches to it.
> 2. Unpacking a source package should not require running special programs.
> This was an important requirement when the current format was designed,
> and it is an important one. It allows one to unpack safely and portably.
Hm, this is a good point. Am I correct in assuming that the point of this is
so you can look at the source to the package before you build it and make
sure it's a safe package, and that neither the source nor the debian
modifications are going to do anything nasty? If so, wouldn't it be enough to
allow people to view the unpack script before they use it to unpack the
package? This would be the same as looking at debian/rules before you build
> 3. It's not reasonable to require that the upstream source (which doesn't
> change at all) be uploaded for each release. Please don't suggest
> source packages that consists of a single file. Bandwidth costs money.
> It's expensive enough to mirror Debian as it is.
I think some of the proposals have included having two source packages, one
for upstream source, one for the debian patches and files.
> 4. Have all packages already been converted to the new scheme? Are we
> really ready to change everything _again_? Would it not be better
> to work on, say, being able to compile the whole main distribution
> with a single command (a.k.a. a single source tree)? Or on bugs; the
> full list of recent and outstanding reports is over 600 kB!
I really feel that debian's source package system is broken in a lot of
ways. I've spent way too much time fighting with it when I needed to modify
a "binary file" (ie, a file with no newline at eof, which patch barfs on),
or when I have a package that has a weird upstream source consisting of
multiple tar files, or when I needed to make a subdirectory in the package,
etc. I could have spent that time closing bugs or whatever, instead it was
just wasted working around the inadequacies of debian's source packaging
> Incremental improvements might be a better way than revolution, this
However, if this can be fixed with incremental improvements, I'm willing to
live with the result.
See shy Jo.
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