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Re: extensive patching

On Fri, 16 May 2008, Martin Uecker wrote:
> Requiring distro specific changes feels wrong anyway. Software
> should be coupled by standardized interfaces. But I might be naive
> here. What are the distro specific changes we are talking about?

It'd be great[0] if we never had to do distribution specific
changes.[1] However, considering the amount of software which is not
LSB compliant, FHS compliant, policy compliant, ships internal
libraries, has upstreams who don't understand API and ABIs, has slow
release cycles, has insane upstreams, or otherwise includes bugs which
need to be fixed, that'll only rarely be the case for some very simple

Even so, most developers and maintainers actively work to reduce the
size of the diff.gz that they ship by sending patches upstream, if for
no other reason than doing so means that they don't have to deal with
merging back in Debian specific patches later. Those who are concerned
about what happened in the ssl case are welcome and encouraged to
assist maintainers in examining the patches made to software, and
liasing with upstream for useful patches, and discussing questionable
packages. [Use Luciano as an example: he actually found a mistake
while those of us discussing this thread engage the barn door.]

At the end of the day, we're here to make the most technically
excellent distribution we can make. That means making changes, and
sometimes we make mistakes. Finding and fixing those mistakes and
spreading the changes to everyone is what we should be doing.

Don Armstrong

0: We could just ship a universal diff.gz that installed a very simple
debian/rules file that called dh, and we could spend the rest of our
time making macros, drinking arrak, and playing tetrinet!

1: One could argue that if you can't come up with a relatively large
list of distribution specific changes that need to be made yourself,
you've not done the research to make useful suggestions for radically
altering how Debian actually does development. Knowing the problem
comes before the knowing answer.
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free
[...] You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
 -- Robert Heinlein _Revolt in 2010_ p54

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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