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Re: How to handle Debian patches

Raphael Hertzog <hertzog@debian.org> writes:

> But don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to using VCS for package
> maintainance (I do it!), I just think that we haven't found the perfect
> workflow yet.

In fact, despite being one of the big quilt advocates in the last round of
this discussion, I am at this point pretty much sold on using Git due to
its merges and branch support and have started to switch my packages over.
However, the one thing discussed on this thread is still the thing I don't
know how to do easily in Git.  I have each logical change on its own
branch, so I can trivially generate patches to feed to upstream with git
diff upstream..bug/foo, but I don't know how to maintain a detailed
description and status other than keeping a separate file with that
information somewhere independent of the branch, or some special file
included in the branch.

I could do that, but it feels weird.  I'd like to have some way to
maintain the metadata more "natively," but so far I'm having a failure of
imagination short of always rebasing my bug branches, which makes merges
into master annoying (unless I'm missing some magic rebase workflow, which
is possible).

> Ideally, I'd like something where I maintain my upstream changes in
> topic branches and the Debian branch would be another topic branch that
> just adds the debian directory (without debian/patches) and
> debian/patches/ is auto-generated from the set of topic branches.


> For this, we probably need to give some hints to the tool that will
> create the source package. Those hints could be in a file
> debian/source/patch-generation and would contain the (ordered) list of
> topic branches with its description and any other required
> meta-information.

Yeah, I suppose that would work.

> Certainly patches.d.o is not meant to replace direct interaction with
> upstream developers but it would be a nice service for upstream
> developers when the debian maintainer sucks (and it happens...) and also
> for other distributions that can benefit from our work.

It would also be really nice for Debian maintainers who don't suck but
who also don't want to go to the work of generating a nice list of patches
and putting them on a web page (in case the developer doesn't get to their
e-mail quickly or needs them resent) if there's a tool that can do it for

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

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