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Re: quilt 3.0 source format and dpkg-source/dpkg-buildpackage

On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 10:04:19AM -0600, Peter Samuelson wrote:
> Presumably dpkg maintainers.  I've long suspected that the main reason
> they chose not to add tar.bz2 to format 1.0 is, if they did, a lot of
> us would have no reason to want format 3.0.  Many packagers don't need
> multiple tarballs or non-text files, and are quite happy to 'include
> /usr/share/quilt/quilt.make' by hand.  We don't find it hard to extract
> an NMU diff even if it wasn't posted to the bug as it should be.  It's
> hard enough to convince us to want 3.0 even with tar.bz2 support.

All this is getting a bit FUD-ish, can we please stop here?

Format 3.0 is more than .bz2 support. To me both the support of multiple
tarballs and that of binary files in diffs look like significant
improvements. Similarly, the knowledge of different patches by dpkg
itself sounds like the proper way of doing things, instead of encoding
individual patches several times by the means of nested tools, without
even a lingua franca layer shared by all patch systems (you know, for
instance, how annoying is to have to support different patch systems in

All in all, the complaints I've been reading in this thread are about
suboptimal support in our _present_ toolchain for the new format. Well,
that's quite normal: the format is young. Maybe the impact analysis has
not been as thorough as it could have been, but the preliminary FTBFS
analysis was quite good in fact, and has minimized the introduction of
RC bugs due to the introduced new features.  Possibly most reported
annoyances could have been avoided *if* the people who are complaining
now had tested 3.0-support before it hit unstable (packages have been
RFC-ed quite in advance and have been made available via experimental).

Every remaining misbehaviors are bugs, of course, but not that serious
(as far as I've read in this thread): report them, provide patches, and
be happy. That would be terribly more useful than trying hard to make
everybody believe 3.0 is unnecessary and/or seriously-buggy, which IME
it is not, as confirmed by the current acceptance rate [1].

Finally, nobody is forced to use it: if you don't like it, just avoid
using it.


[1] http://upsilon.cc/~zack/stuff/dpkg-v3/

PS the post of course is not aimed at you, Peter, in particular

Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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