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

Scripsit Panu Kalliokoski <atehwa@sange.fi>

> It was pointed to me that packages should be preferably non-native,
> even if no source release without the debian/ subdir has ever
> existed.
> 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.

In addition do the answers Lars gave, I think there is a major
consideration to make for people who do _not_ use Debian but are
still interested in your software. Because of the sheer size of
Debian, it is not uncommon to use our source archive as a generic
place to find free software sources - sort of a meta-CxAN.

For this kind of users, a non-native package is a clear signal that
the software is supposed to be generally useful on Linux and probably
also other unices. Conversely, a Debian-native package may make people
assume that you don't care a bit whether it compiles or runs on other
OSes, and that you would be reluctant to accept patches for
portability beyond Debian, or patches for easier installation in $HOME
for users who are not root on their system, and so on.

Further, providing an .orig.tar.gz without the debian/ directory helps
prevent confusion for users on non-Debian systems.

And if you do provide such a debian/-less tarball for nondebian
users then of course you SHOULD use that as pristine source in the
Debian package too.

And last: if someday _you_ decide that you like, say, Ubuntu better
than Debian and start releasing your master distribution there instead
of here, confusion will result if the Ubuntu packaging in debian/
cannot be easily separated from the upstream source that a new Debian
maintainer might want to package.

It is easier to just do it right from the beginning.

Henning Makholm                   "Jeg mener, at der eksisterer et hemmeligt
                                 selskab med forgreninger i hele verden, som
                         arbejder i det skjulte for at udsprede det rygte at
                      der eksisterer en verdensomspændende sammensværgelse."

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