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Re: Bug#466550: Pristine source from upstream VCS repository

On 12-Mar-2009, Bernd Zeimetz wrote:
> Hi,
> >         The best way to get the exact sources for the current
> >         version probably should be a  new watch file
> >         (watch-current) which has a static version number in the
> >         regexp

I don't see why this file would be needed, since a watchfile
specifying ‘debian’ as the version already has this effect (according
to the ‘uscan(1)’ manpage).

So I agree with this:

> No, please don't just add another watch file just for the sake of
> it,

but not for Bernd's reasons.

> using these files is more or less like living in the last century.

Given that we need to support tarballs from upstream for the
forseeable future, the existing ‘debian/watch’ files seem a good
solution for that limited scope.

> People are able to get the current source from the Debian pool, if
> that is not enough for them

There are many reasons to want to verify the Debian source package
against the original source archive; for example, security checks,
licensing checks, checking for packaging mistakes, etc.

> they should be old enough

This is rather condescending and judgemental; let's not dismiss as
childish the requirement to do something, without understanding the
reasons first.

> to be able to click on the upstream homepage link in the package's
> description and get the source.

The upstream home page for many packages makes it ridiculously
difficult to get to the original source archive. Some don't have the
original source discoverable from the home page; some don't even have
a home page.

Part of our job as package maintainers is to be an interface between
Debian users and upstream developers; getting the original source as
used by Debian surely counts, since many users want to develop the
package further. If we have to deal with that task more than once, we
should find ways to automate it both for ourselves and our users.

 \       “I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me |
  `\                                        as members.” —Groucho Marx |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>

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