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mixing different upstream sources in one package

>From time to time, someone announces an intention to package some tiny
script or program, and people suggest including it in some other
package instead to avoid pollution of the archive with lots of tiny
packages.  Although I understand the reasoning and the issues here
(additional overhead for each package), this has always bothered me a
little.  I'm not sure that, as an upstream author, I would necessarily
want the debian version of my package to be bundled with other
software that was similar in functionality but otherwise unrelated to
my package.

I've recently taken over maintenance of psutils and am gradually
working through the outstanding bugs on that package.  A few of the
bugs suggest adding external programs.  Assuming there are no other
impediments (like licensing problems), do people generally think that
it's reasonable to do this even if the other packages aren't really
part of the upstream package?  If so, are there usual mechanisms for
doing this?  What about version numbers?

My inclination would be decline requests to add unrelated packages to
psutils, but I thought I'd solicit input from others in case someone
has some perl (oops, pearl) of wisdom that I have overlooked.  Thanks!

Jay Berkenbilt <qjb@debian.org>

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