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Re: Bug#457353: gdome2-xslt: should not be a Debian-native package

On Wed, Dec 26, 2007 at 03:16:36PM +0100, Vincent Danjean wrote:

>   I can tell you that this is not a easy way to cleanly package these
> softwares. I did not talk to upstream yet because I would like to present
> them new clean packages. Nevertheless, for now, I need to recreate a
> X.Y.Z+debian.1.orig.tar.gz without the debian/ directory so it is more
> difficult for a user to check that the orig.tar.gz has the same software
> as in the upstream site.

Why repack? The .diff.gz ought to be enough to describe the changes
under the debian/ directory. Even if you re-do the packaging from
scratch so looking at the diff itself is not very useful, it would still
accurately represent the changes made to the original sources.

Admittedly I've never tried to re-package something that already come
with a debian/ directory so if some tool barfs when the .orig.tar.gz
already contains a debian/ directory, then that tool should be fixed
instead of requiring to recreate the .orig.tar.gz.

>   More generally, having a tar.gz without debian/ makes easier to create
> the debian package. Some people say they are also the debian maintainer. But
> are they also the Ubuntu maintainer ? the knoppix maintainer ? the backport
> maintainer ? ...

You seem to make the mistake to think that the debian/ directory
provided by upstream is there to help the distro maintainer. I think
this is not true. The upstream-provided debian/ directory is often for
_users_ who just want to download the latest-and-greatest version or
CVS/SVN/...  snapshot and install it "The Debian Way". There are a lot
of packages where official Debian uploads take a lot of time due to
either technical or political reasons or just due to lack of time from
the official maintainer, so I think it's quite nice if upstream wants to
make users' life easier.

If you want to improve the Debian packaging included in the upstream
sources, that's great, go ahead and submit patches. But insisting on
removing the debian/ directory upstream IMHO goes against the Social
Contract that rates users' interests higher than maintainer convenience.


     MTA SZTAKI Computer and Automation Research Institute
                Hungarian Academy of Sciences

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