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

On Tue, Feb 28, 2006 at 08:57:07PM +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> > 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.
> 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.

What benefit does this have in addition to bandwidth savings?

> 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.

This seems good grounds only to go non-native _when_ the author and
maintainer become different people.

> 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.

This only seems to apply to a situation where the upstream is not a DD.
However, I'm trying to get to be one.

> 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.

That's true, making packages non-native doesn't have much to be said
against, however, it doesn't have much to be said for.  Maybe the whole
thing is just arguing about painting the bikeshed; but I'm concerned
that a technical recommendation has been formed that does not really
have any technical argument to support it.


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