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Re: Is Ubuntu a debian derivative or is it a fork?

On Thu, Jun 02, 2005 at 12:25:01AM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:

> Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > I see no need to argue about whether Ubuntu should push; the patches
> > are all there in an easily accessible tree, and it would be trivial to
> > pull the patches and push them someplace else if that's desirable.
> Please take a look at the current Ubuntu 1.6 MB diff for base-config
> (the split diffs are useless in this case), and tell me how you consider
> this to be "easily accessible". There are some base-config improvements
> in here that could benefit others, or at least other derived distros,
> such as making it only expect one CD, but not done in a generic or
> reusable way and they're all mashed up with tons of Ubuntu specific
> hacks.

That's an unfortunate mess, I agree, and it's just as bad for Ubuntu as it
is for Debian.  We're working to rectify it by getting the lot into Arch.
This is definitely one of the worst examples, given that base-config is
perhaps _the_ most divergent package in Ubuntu relative to Debian.

Given our scheduling requirements, it hasn't always been possible to
implement divergent changes in the cleanest possible way, and this is only
one of the reasons why "file everything in debbugs" isn't a very good

> For what it's worth, I've completly given up on separating the parts that
> are applicable to Debian from the parts that aren't. I have some hope that
> Colin will manage to merge some of it into the Debian package, since he's
> been doing a lot of work on merging in Ubuntu's changes to d-i, but if
> that doesn't happen soon, Ubuntu will be left with this massive patch to
> forward port as I make huge planned changes to base-config post-sarge.

This would, of course, be Ubuntu's problem, and not Debian's.  Either we'll
get it cleaned up, or we'll be left behind.

> If Debian treated our upstreams this way, I'd be suprised if we ever got
> any patches accepted upstream.

Debian does, in fact, treat most of its upstreams precisely this way.
Debian publishes a large portion of its changes primarily in the form of
monolithic diffs relative to upstream source.  The last time I saw figures,
the usage of dpatch, cdbs, etc. was rising, but not yet the standard
operating procedure.

> (To answer the thread leader, I consider Ubuntu to be more and more of a
> fork and less and less a derivative distribution. If Ubuntu doesn't
> start to re-converge with Debian significantly after sarge is released,
> and we end up with two sets of X.org packaging, etc, then I will give up
> and just consider it purely a fork.)

Ubuntu re-converges with Debian very regularly.  I think what you meant to
say is that you want Debian to re-converge with Ubuntu.

Regarding your specific example, I know of no reason why Debian couldn't use
Ubuntu's X.org packages when Debian is ready to make the transition, but in
the end that will be the XSF's decision, not Ubuntu's.

 - mdz

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