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Re: Pristine source from upstream VCS repository

On Thu, Mar 05 2009, Russ Allbery wrote:

> Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> writes:
>> It's been brought to my attention that this approach actually conflicts
>> with the above section of policy.
>> Am I right in thinking that the ‘get-orig-source’ target should ignore
>> the version strings in ‘debian/changelog’, and should instead get
>> whatever version is the latest available from upstream?
> I think the way that you're using it is more useful (and possible) than
> doing what an exact reading of the current text would indicate, and I do
> the same thing that you're doing.

        However, as written, the wording does suggest that the latest
 version  is what will be acquired, and any shift in meaning will make
 currently conforming packages buggy. 

> http://bugs.debian.org/466550 is somewhat related.
> For packages with non-trivial rules to generate the upstream source
> tarball used with Debian, it's very difficult or impossible to write a
> future-proofed version of that cdoe that will work with arbitrary future
> versions from upstream.  However, documenting the method used to generate
> the *current* version will let people modify that target as needed to
> package future versions.

        I beg to differ. It would be hard for me to assure that any rule
 run which looks at the debian/changelog version will actually work at
 any time in the future.

        I have upstreams that ship released software tarballs that match
 a pattern I can feed uscan; but older versions are often purged from
 the site quickly. I can, then, use  the pattern to download the latest
 version (perhaps using uscan), and then unpack it, rm -rf the debian
 directory, and repack it, preserving the version number, without much

        Given that at least one version of the software is guaranteed to
 exist, I can craft a generic get-orig0source rule that will work -- but
 if I pay attention to the versoin, the rule will fail just days or
 weeks after upload.

        Making people remove a generic get-orig-source that actually
 gets the latest source package from upstream by making it violate the
 new version of policy would not be a good thing, in my opinion,
 Silenty reverting the original meaning of the target, without a
 transition plan, instead of creating a new target with the new meaning
 is not usually how Debian policy used to work.

        I am wondering which is of more use to the end users as well: I
 can always get the sources of the package I have already on my disk
 from Debian, but getting the latest munged source seems more useful to

You may have heard that a dean is to faculty as a hydrant is to a
dog. Alfred Kahn
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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