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Re: How to cope with patches sanely



On Sat, Feb 02, 2008 at 02:59:01PM +0000, Theodore Tso wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 02, 2008 at 12:04:16PM +0000, Roger Leigh wrote:
> > 
> > While the time might not be yet, DVCS systems are getting to the point
> > where they could make our lives all much simpler.  Having all of
> > Debian in git, where anyone can clone and hack would be (IMHO) a
> > worthy goal to aim for.  Currently, there are many packages I can't
> > work on--simply because I am not intimately familiar with the
> > patch-system-du-jour the maintainer chose,
> > upstream-tarball-in-orig.tar.gz being my greatest bane.  Having a
> > single tool we all need to learn once would (again, IMHO) be useful in
> > fixing this.
> 
> While I'm a big fan of DVCS systems, and in fact use git all the time
> --- including git to manage quilt seriess --- I don't think DVCS
> systems would necessarily be right for Debian.
> 
> The reason for that is because in the long-run, we do want to get our
> changes upstream, and not end up in a merge hell where Debian packages
> have diverged significantly from upstream and merging changes back is
> hard.  The problem with DVCS tools is that they aren't necessarily
> well suited for that.  It's too easy for people to just hack a few
> changes, then commit, then hack a few more changes, and commit, .etc.
> 
> You can use tools such as "git rebase --interactive" to fold related
> patches and patches which fix bugs introduced in patches, but it's
> complicated, and not something a beginner DVCS user would find easy.
> 
> If you force people to maintain patchsets, where each patch has a
> description describing *what* change was made, and why, it's much,
> MUCH more convenient for upstream to understand what you've done, and
> why.

  Bah that's the worst reason I ever seen to not use a DVCS in Debian.
Please look at the debian packages with patches, and please tell me how
many come with a comment about what the patch do. Please start with the
glibc if you don't know where to start.  Then please resume the
discussion about how having patches series make them more commented.


  No really, a DSCM does not changes a thing. What _IS_ a bad idea, is
to force people to use it if they don't want to. What _is_ a good idea,
is to provide good tools to work with DVCS repositories in Debian, so
that we can abstract their differences a bit for people doing one time
contributions.
-- 
·O·  Pierre Habouzit
··O                                                madcoder@debian.org
OOO                                                http://www.madism.org

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