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Re: Is there some guideline saying that native packages should be avoided?

ti, 2006-02-28 kello 19:39 +0200, Panu Kalliokoski kirjoitti:
> I would like to ask whether there really is such a guideline, and if so,
> which are the technical / political reasons that lead to it.

There is a somewhat common feeling among Debian developers that Debian
packaging should be separate from upstream sources, for various reasons.

a) If there is a bug in the packaging, it can be fixed without uploading
a new upstream source tarball. Assuming upstream version is 1.2, the
first Debian version would be 1.2-1, and the fixed one would be 1.2-2.
The .orig.tar.gz file would be the same for 1.2-1 and 1.2-2.

b) Keeping upstream and packaging separate makes things easier when they
no longer are maintained by the same person. Upstream doesn't have to
maintain debian/* anymore, and the Debian package maintainer doesn't
need to feed his changes to upstream and wait for them to be
incorporated in a new release.

c) Often, though obviously not always, the upstream developer isn't
following Debian packaging policies and practicies to the extent a
dedicated Debian developer would. Thus, if the package gets uploaded to
Debian, its Debian packaging will differ from upstreams, leading to
confusing and .diff.gz files that are hard to read, since they don't
contain all the Debian packaging.

d) It doesn't really make it harder to keep packaging files separate. It
may require a step or two extra to the script that builds a release, but
it should be easy enough to do that.

Our technology is sadly insufficiently advanced.

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