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Re: About new source formats for packages without patches

Sven Mueller <debian@incase.de> writes:

> Ben Finney schrieb:
> > Any future formats will be unambiguously distinguishable. Those
> > format-undeclared source packages can't be eradicated from the earth
> > entirely. So why not simply declare that they are source format 1.0,
> > as is without changes, and will always be recognised as such even
> > *after* that format is utterly deprecated?
> What you describe is actually really a "default to 1.0" behaviour.

Specifically, a behaviour of *recognising* that a package is in source
format 1.0. That's a fact of that package in that state, that shouldn't
change just because time has passed.

In other words, a source package left as it was from five years ago
(i.e., with no source format declaration) is still source format 1.0
five years ago, today, in ten years, and in a hundred years; because the
passage of time doesn't change the format that the source package is in.

> [source format 1.0 is] ambiguous in many ways (for example in changing
> silently to native package format if the orig.tar.gz is missing)..

Maybe so. I don't see how that is improved by pretending that a package
which is in source format 1.0 is instead in a different format. Calling
it a different format from 1.0 would be false. The dpkg tool needs to
recognise the format for what it is, and respond however the dpkg
maintainers feel is appropriate in the presence of that format.

Now, *in response to* recognising that fact (“the package is in source
format 1.0”), the behaviour of the tool can and should change over time;
I have no argument against that behaviour gradually getting more hostile
to that format over time.

The only thing I'm arguing for in this case is that such packages are,
in fact, in source package format 1.0, that fact doesn't change over
time, and in the absence of any declarative change to the package they
should not be falsely identified as any other format.

Again, I say all this only to correct misinterpretation, just as I hope
to be corrected if I have misinterpreted the situation. Thanks.

 \     “As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of |
  `\                                       the demand.” —Josh Billings |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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