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Re: Ok to use upstream doumentation as-is (i.e. not regenerate)?

Benjamin Drung <bdrung@debian.org> writes:

> Am Samstag, den 04.06.2011, 14:10 +0200 schrieb Gergely Nagy:
>> Jonas Smedegaard <dr@jones.dk> writes:
>> > I have noticed several times package changes like the following (from 
>> > cairomm entering testing today):
>> >
>> >   * debian/control:
>> >     - Drop build dependencies on doxygen and graphviz, since upstream 
>> >       now ships the generated documentation
>> >
>> >
>> > Feels wrong to me to redistribute when e.g. html files clearly are not 
>> > the preferred form of editing for upstream.
>> To me, that doesn't sound all that troubling: we do use other generated
>> files that upstream ships more often than not: configure, Makefile.ins -
>> and so on. Though, those are rarely shipped in the binary package, but
>> still: we do not build-depend on the tools that generate these.
>> Technically, upstream could do anything in those files, write them by
>> hand instead of generating from configure.ac, and include that in the
>> distributed tarball, potentially under a non-free license.
>> In any case: even if upstream shipts generated content, as long as the
>> source is shipped aswell, all is fine and well, in my opinion. The
>> _source_ needs to be in the preferred form of modification. If it
>> contains generated files aswell, that doesn't matter all that much: the
>> source is still there. You just don't have to use it, if the result
>> would be the same anyway.
> It's better to build the pre-generated files from source in case you
> need to modify the source. It's easier to just modify for example
> configure.ac instead of modifying it and figuring out how to rebuild the
> pre-generated files, especially when you do security fixes or stable
> release updates.

That, I agree with. However, if the upstream build system does not
rebuild what needs to be rebuilt when I modify the sources, I'd consider
that as a bug, and would make upstream fix it (or at least, try to make
him fix it).

As a maintainer, I kinda want to know the software's build system well
enough to be able to rebuild stuff if so need be, even if I did not do
that in the Debian package before.

As long as the sources are there, I have the ability to fix a bug
directly there. Having generated files there helps until I don't need to
regenerate them, thus, I don't see nothing wrong with using them.

Much like I don't see an issue with using the autotools generated stuff,
nor the graphics, that were exported from an xcf file, for example. I'm
not going to build-depend on gimp to be able rebuild graphics. The pngs
are fine with me. Corner case, yes, but the point remains.


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