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Re: About new source formats for packages without patches

On Thu, 25 Mar 2010, Steve Langasek wrote:
> If it's really so important to the dpkg maintainers that source format 1.0
> is declared, why doesn't dpkg-source -b *generate* this content
> automatically as part of the .diff.gz so that maintainers aren't being asked
> to take a manual action to assert the status quo?

My goal as dpkg maintainer is that Debian converts the maximum number of
source packages to the new source formats in the shortest timeframe. (You
might not share this goal but that's another matter)

The initial plan to achieve this was to auto-convert the source packages
(hence the archive rebuild, the numerous bugs filed, and the release
goal). I've been convinced that this was not necessarily the right
approach for Debian. But I still want to be able to modify dpkg-source to
not build 1.0 by default at some point, because it would be weird to use
by default a format that we (dpkg maintainers) would consider as
deprecated (granted, it's in the long term).

At the same time, I've been convinced to change dpkg-source to only try
to use one source format instead of having a fallback list (1.0 has this
automatic fallback on native packages and people agreed that we should
not continue to follow this bad design). We have an opportunity to fix
now because if you indicate "3.0 (quilt)" you will never build native
package by mistake (and if you indicate "3.0 (native)" you won't build a
non-native package).

Of course dpkg-source could autogenerate debian/source/format to 1, but
this would mean taking the decision (“I want to continue using the old
format”) in place of the maintainer, and it's a bad idea given my goal,
just like it was a bad idea to automatically convert source packages to
3.0 (quilt) without the maintainer explicit consent.

Taking all those points into account, this lintian warning is the best
approach that I found out that respects all points of views [1]
and I believe it respects Debian's philosophy of letting the maintainer in
total control of his package.


[1] My point of view as developer that want to see the new formats widely
used and the point of view of the maintainers that want control over his
package and a guaranty that it won't break in the future. Cf the
explanation of Anthony Towns in
I really have the feeling to see this antagonism at play in this thread.
Raphaël Hertzog

Like what I do? Sponsor me: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/05/5-years-of-freexian/
My Debian goals: http://ouaza.com/wp/2010/01/09/debian-related-goals-for-2010/

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