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Re: How to cope with patches sanely

Charles Plessy <charles-debian-nospam@plessy.org> writes:

> In that case, I think that the man page of apt-get should be
> authoritative on what is expected from running 'apt-get source': "source
> causes apt-get to fetch source packages." The definition of the debian
> source package in Policy C.3 does not mention that the upsteam sources
> must bear all the modifications that the debian/rules makefile applies
> to them before starting compilation and/or installation.

We can't get too rules-bound here.  It's hard to state the requirements in
a general and bulletproof form, since the build system itself may involve
patching files (to build them multiple times in different ways, for
instance), running autoconf and friends, or other actions that mean that
the sources as distributed aren't the absolutely final form.  The
absolutely final form is somewhat undefined -- is shipping bison source
which is processed by bison before gcc okay, for instance?  What about
adding a binary file, such as an image file, by shipping it uuencoded and
then decoding it in debian/rules?  There are a lot of arguments that we
could get into if we tried to make strict rules which feel like time
wasters to me.

> So for the moment there is no tool for people to examinate the patched
> sources without having to know about the patch systems. Maybe a bit of
> Policy on a 'patch' rule for 'debian/rules' and an option --patch for
> 'apt-get source', or 'dpkg-source', would solve this aspect of the
> problem.

See Bug#250202 for more discussion of this than any sane person would ever
want to read.  I think we're moving forward with a documentation
requirement for now, plus mildly standardizing the patch target.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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