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[RFC] Binary packages containing the source

Dear developers,

  How to enable in some special cases a way to allow one source
package have multiple maintainers within Debian archive.

  There are already a number of packages in the archive which ship
sources in a binary package, in some cases this is very useful, so
without having to duplicate the sources, there can be multiple
maintainers for one source without having to be forced to team up.
Ideally, a package should have a binary and a source part, but in some
cases it is very useful to provide this kind of packages, as it is the
case for GCC/EGLIBC/LINUX/BINUTILS (toolchain) packages, so ADA, JAVA,
D or cross compilers do not need to ship sources along the package.
So, basically what it is being done by some packages is to build
depend on those binaries shipping the source (*-source) to provide
tweaked or new binary packages with different configurations.

  Let's make an example, I would like to have a uClibc cross
toolchain, most sources are already in the archive and my changes
might be to intrusive to the packages itself, plus I need to talk to
different developers to coordinate the effort and rely on their
kindness to apply patches for something they might not feel like
maintaining. I might also want to generate packages for one
architecture which builds for any architecture and have different
source packages named uclibc-sh4, uclibc-avr32, uclibc-powerpcspe,
uclibc-armel,... Imagine if one needs to ship *same* source per each
one on those packages, this is bloating the Debian archive.

  Approaches I could work on my own without bother anyone could be:
 a) build depend on *-source binary packages, which it is already a
practice and it does not need any infrastructure changes but there is
lack of standarization among those packages, some of them ship patches
aside with unpatched source, some others patched source, source might
be compressed and compression might change from time to time. IMO
should it should be fixed and standarized in Debian Policy and have
binary -source packages which contain .dsc, .diff.gz, etc. Comments?

  Other alternatives commented on IRC to be able to allow one source
for different maintainers:
  b) Have one *.orig.tar.gz and allow several *.diff.gz, which it is
probably a bad idea, as it requires infrastructure changes and diffs
need to be coordinated whenever a new *.orig.tar.gz appears.
  c) allow build depends on source packages, which it is probably a worst idea.
  d) team up or die.

  A list of packages that might be useful to provide in such way I can
think of right now are:
   linux-2.6, eglibc, binutils, gcc-X.Y, gdb, busybox, uclibc, newlib, ...

  Any comments on standarizing such behaviour in Debian Policy?

Best regards,
 Héctor Orón

"Our Sun unleashes tremendous flares expelling hot gas into the Solar
System, which one day will disconnect us."

-- Day DVB-T stop working nicely
Video flare: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap100510.html

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