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Re: native packages

Scripsit Joachim Breitner <nomeata@debian.org>

> probably just a corner case, but for packages that happen to have no
> useful .tar.gz.orig (either because it is distributed as
> .zip.foo.rar.uuenc.gpg or because a lot of stuff has to be removed for
> legal reasons), it should be ok for the maintainer to just make one
> .tar.gz file, and not to "invent" a diff.

I respectfully disagree. It is common courtesy to be open about what
is the source file distributed by upstream and what is Debian's
additions and modification. It makes life easier for anyone who cares
about the difference and does not make life siginificantly harder for

Who cares about the difference, then? Well,

1. The upstream author cares, if he is curious about how we're
   treating his brainchild.

2. The next maintainer (or NMUer) will care, as he tries to make sense
   of the packaging.

3. A technically savvy user cares, if he is trying to figure out why
   the Debian package behaves differently from a package of the
   software on another host - or if he is trying to decide whether to
   report a bug (with a patch?) to the Debian BTS or directly

4. A paranoid user will care, if he has spent a lot of effort auditing
   the upstream source code for his own FooOS build and now wants to
   verify that the Debian package is trustworthy.

5. Non-Debian users care that Debian offers a well-organised archive
   of upstream sources of free software, which can often be compiled
   on other platforms. This is kind of peripheral to the value we add,
   but it is immensely useful at times (say, when I needed to compile
   VCG on a RedHat machine, the upstream ftp site was dead, and the
   Debian archive was the only place where source could be found). But
   it only works well if one can get *original* source without added
   debianisms that cannot easily be found or rolled back.

On the other hand, I don't see any material advantage in not
distinguishing between the original and Debian additions.

Henning Makholm                        "Nej, hvor er vi altså heldige! Længe
                                      leve vor Buxgører Sansibar Bastelvel!"

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