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Re: Problems with the current source packaging scheme

On Mon, 12 May 1997, Lars Wirzenius wrote:

> At least the following have been pointed out as problems with
> the current (source) packaging scheme. I'm not commenting
> on what the proper solution to each problem is, and I wish
> no-one else would, either, just so that we could, for once,
> avoid the Debian-typical design-by-mail-flood. :)
> I _do_ ask everyone to add things to the list (via private mail
> to me -- I'll summarize -- or on this list). Or point out non-problems,
> of course.
> * .orig.tar.gz gets separated from .dsc and .diff.gz, and may get lost
> * upstream sources not preserved bit-for-bit; need to be repackage, which
>   can destroy upstream digital signatures, and makes it more difficult to
>   check that .orig.tar.gz and upstream sources are the same
> * no automated way to check .orig.tar.gz files against upstream distribution
>   (located on well known web sites), or upstream digital signature, if any
> * no way to automatically retrieve the upstream source package, or its
>   updates

OK, similar to these three - no option to retrieve the upstream source
from a closer mirror (or CD-ROM!). For example, I have a *very* local
mirror of the GNU sources, and a couple of CD-ROMS of them, so it would be
handy if I could download everything else.

> * no dependencies for source packages

I'd like to add here that we need two types of dependencies - on *source*
packages, and on *binary* packages.

And some others:-

* No "dpkg-ftp/dselect" type thing for getting/installing sources

* No standard location to install sources (/usr/src structure should
probably be made policy)

* No provision for building multiple binary packages from one source
installation easily (i.e. VPATH builds). An example of this is, say I have
the binutils source in /usr/src/debian/binutils-2.8, and I want to build
binutils for m68k in ~/binutils-m68k, and for i486 in ~/binutils-i386.
This is currently possible for the configure script and the upstream
Makefiles for the most part, just not for the debian bits and pieces.

* No easy provision for an essentially binary-only package, e.g. quake,
where upstream source aren't provided - the source pkg is almost identical
to the binary pkg - they should be in the same package probably. Another
example - in my file-rc package, the debian/rules file does not do
*anything* for build, and for binary, just copies stuff into the right

Tom Lees <tom@lpsg.demon.co.uk>			http://www.lpsg.demon.co.uk/
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