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On the subject of watchfiles (was Re: Proposed MBF: Debian upstream version higher than watch file-reported upstream version)

Is it worth investing much effort into debugging watch file

In my experience, watchfiles are seldom useful. There was
the whole problem with getting at HTTPS URLs; the
sourceforge workarounds (that broke); etc. One of the
packages I maintain (deutex) does not have the latest
upstream version linked to from a website (it's referenced
in a mailing list post somewhere). I've read several other
examples of situations (unpredictable version number schemes
etc.) where it falls short.

Also, if a package is being looked after by an active
maintenance team, you'd hope that they would be aware that a
new upstream version was available: in many cases you'd hope
they were aware one was *due*, often with pre-releases in
experimental to catch issues for the larger suites.

If a package is not being looked after by an active
maintenance team, there's a bug in the package maintenance
(or the package should be on it's way out); which won't be
solved by tweaking the watch file.

Jon Dowland

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