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Re: divergence from upstream as a bug

"Bernhard R. Link" <brlink@debian.org> writes:

> We have already such a place. It's called the .diff.gz. It's linked
> everywhere, on every mirror in the same directory as the software.
> This file is there to contain and show what is changed.
> Admitted, the original one file diff is not perfect for multiple
> patches, but for this adding additional patch files in there works
> smootly.

The diff.gz contains all the changes including the debian dir. It is
by no means obvious if there are patches in there or not.

> This is were people look at and what I from looking for changes of other
> distributions of packages I maintain often miss elsewhere: A complete,
> current list of what is actually changed.

Maybe the diff.gz could be parsed automatically for patches and linked
on packages[.qa].debian.org. At least the headers of each patch could
be directly accessible from the web just like the changelog. I think
that would be nice short of the BTS idea.

> Everything else is just overhead, as with comments in source
> code: they are nice to have as long there little, but if there are too
> many they are most of the time outdated, wrong or distracting.

I find the why and how a patch came together important
information. You compare this idea to comments in source code. I find
those invaluable in understanding sources. So you actually made a
point for the idea imho.

> Instead of adding new stuff, why not actually enforce and improve what
> we have:
> I'd suggest to start with making pristine upstream tarballs (or pure
> subsets of those) obligatory. No modifications allowed in there and no
> exceptions.

Say goodby to all packages with +dfsg tarballs. This is just not practical.

> And when extending the source packaging format, do not throw away the good
> properties lightly. Git for example is no format to present
> modifications. It is one to present history (which is almost but not
> quite something completely different).

The quilt extension is certainly a big improvement and will hopefully
unify a lot of patch system using packages after lenny.

> Thanks in advance,
> 	Bernhard R. Link


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