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Re: New source package formats now available

Le Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 08:51:51PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog a écrit :
> Currently a package without a patch system needs heavy modifications in
> debian/rules to setup the patch system. So when you want to add a patch in
> debian/patches and not in the .diff.gz, you have to choose a patch system
> in place of the maintainer.

That sounds like an artificial situation to me. Either the maintainer is active
and a patch system can be agreed with him, or the maintainer is MIA and the
package should be hijacked, orphaned, or removed. It is more work than just doing
a NMU, but it fixes the real problem, which is not the bug itself but the absence
of a maintainer to deal with it.

Also, as a side comment, I would like to add that the “NMU workflow” often
advertised on this list completely ignores that a large number of packages are
stored in a VCS where all DDs have write acceess. Uploading a package with an
anonymous and monolithic patch puts an additional load on the maintainer's work,
which contradicts the goal of a NMU, to help a busy maintainer. 

The formats ‘2.0’ and ‘3.0 (variant)’ bring a lot of nice improvements, like
the use of multiple tarballs, different compression systems, and having the
debian directory in a single tarball, which removes the need of uuencoding
binary documents. I would welcome a variant that leaves the patch system in the
hands of the maintainer. It would simplify our work by removing the need to
fight against the modifications introduced by runing the autotools, which would
be simply ignored instead of being turned into an useless patch. And it would
also open a way to unify with the VCS-based formats.


Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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