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Re: Bug#466550: Clarify or remove the get-orig-source target specification

On 25-Mar-2009, Russ Allbery wrote:
> I think where we're at (with get-orig-source) right now is that
> uscan has a feature to run a script after downloading the upstream
> source.  That seems like usually the right way of providing
> repackaging for new upstream source releases and I think we should
> find a way to encourage people to provide such a script.

This part I agree with; I am glad to learn ‘uscan’ has this
capability, and I wonder why it's not better known.

> debian/rules get-orig-source as an interface to run uscan with the
> appropriate options seems like it might be a good idea to keep the
> interface consistent.


> In the unusual case where one wants to download a very specific
> upstream release that isn't the one uscan thinks is latest, one can
> always download the tarball and run the repacking script on it by
> hand; with the repacking script as a separate script, that shouldn't
> be too many steps.

Here my position differs from Russ somewhat.

This case is unusual (in that it's by far not the usual case), but not
rare in my experience. Quite often I've deliberately wanted to build a
specific version of upstream's code that isn't the latest released
version, and it seemed obvious to me (before this discussion) that
the ‘get-orig-source’ target should obey the version string from
‘debian/changelog’ for this purpose.

I admit that I am unable to decide how this use case should be
satisfied. While it's not the normal case, I think it's the one least
able to be satisfied trivially and for *that* reason should be the
normal operation of the ‘get-orig-source’ target.

In other words: getting the original source *for this Debian release
of the package* is what I associate with an operation named
‘get-orig-source’. If “get the latest upstream source” needs
automation, perhaps a hypothetical ‘get-latest-source’ target is
called for.

> That still leaves open the question of what get-orig-source should
> do with a package that can't use uscan (unversioned upstream files,
> multiple upstream tarballs, upstream that uses only a VCS, etc.).
> Currently, Policy says that it should download and create a tarball
> of the most current upstream sources.  I think that makes sense, but
> it's harder than doing the most recent blessed sources and might
> break a lot.  It also leaves one without an easy way of duplicating
> exactly the tarball that was uploaded with the Debian package.

This is made easier, I feel, if ‘get-orig-source’ is defined to get
the original source as referenced by the Debian version number of the
package: just key it to the specific revision identifier for that
upstream version.

 \     “To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an |
  `\                   authority myself.” —Albert Einstein, 1930-09-18 |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>

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