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Re: Recent changes in dpkg

On Wed, 26 May 2010 22:59:25 +0200
Iustin Pop <iusty@k1024.org> wrote:

> On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 10:43:36PM +0200, Bernd Zeimetz wrote:
> > On 05/24/2010 11:05 AM, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > >   * The plan concerning dpkg-source and the default source format
> > > has been clarified. In the long term, the default format will
> > > disappear and debian/source/format will become mandatory. The
> > > lintian tag missing-debian-source-format[2] will help us track
> > > that.
> > 
> > Which will force developers to touch most of the packages in the
> > archive just to realize this? Sorry, but that's insane. You should
> > not try to force people into migrating to some new format because
> > *you* think it is better. This is not a decision which should be
> > decided by the dpkg maintainers - instead it needs to be discussed
> > within the developers and maintainers. While the new format
> > provides some advantages when it comes to the handling of patches,
> > the 1.0 format is still much more flexible to use - for example it
> > does not require an existing tarball to build a package, which is
> > very useful for testing. You know that there are a lot of arguments
> > against the 3.0 format out there, so please do not enforce such
> > changes without discussing them first.
> I think you're misreading the announcement. What will change is that
> declaring the format (either 1.0 or 3.0 in whatever variant) will be
> required, not migrating to the new formats.

Declaring a format mandates touching every single package because the
vast majority of packages are currently dpkg source format 1.0 ONLY
because debian/source/format does NOT exist. The dpkg maintainers
appear to want all packages to have a file that currently only exists
in a fraction of packages. We cannot add a file to packages without
touching them / rebuilding them, so as the lack of a file is proposed
as being *against eventual policy* then Policy is being abused to do
what it has been claimed Policy should never do - force a change that
is NOT already implemented in most affected packages.

The ABSENCE of debian/source/format needs to be explicitly retained as
a de facto declaration of dpkg source format 1.0. i.e. unless
explicitly specified, 1.0 needs to BE the default. Any other proposal
tries to abuse Policy to implement a (trivial) change affecting every
single source package in Debian. I find that unacceptable.

If dpkg eventually causes FTBFS due to the lack of this file, then dpkg
will be buggy, not the package. This is especially true when nothing
has changed in the package; the only change would be in dpkg

> > > has been clarified. In the long term, the default format will
> > > disappear and debian/source/format will become mandatory. The

I think the announcement is wrong, we cannot ever expect every single
package to be touched for any single change. We don't even do that when
libc changes SONAME - that only affects compiled packages, this
theoretically affects all source packages which means huge numbers of
rebuilds and transitions.

There is nothing wrong with a source package that glides through several
stable releases without needing a rebuild, especially if it only
builds an Arch:all binary package. As long as it is bug free, an ancient
standards version alone is not sufficient reason to change anything in
the package or make any upload just for the sake of making an upload.

debian/source/format cannot become mandatory without causing every
single source package to be modified. For what? Just to add 6 bytes?


Neil Williams

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