[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: simple Debian package information in the wiki

Henri Le Foll <lists@lefoll.eu> writes:

> http://wiki.debian.org/Packaging/Minimal (for empty packages)
> http://wiki.debian.org/Packaging/Trivial (for a pdf file)
> http://wiki.debian.org/Packaging
> I am interested to have feed back on it

I maintain my view that to learn packaging, the best way to do that is
to start from scratch - there are no unknown black boxes there one does
not understand (and while dh-make is a great tool in the right hands,
the default templates it works from are a tad confusing to someone who
has no idea how packaging works).

I also disagree with using equivs for this: while it works, and gets the
job done quickly, it does not encourage learning to package. I believe
that the extra effort in learning the basics is well worth the
trouble. It's so much easier to just quickly throw something together
and install it properly than putting it into /usr/local on any number of
computers one wishes to install a piece of software or documentation or
whatever on.

Therefore, while the current article is a good start, I think it could
be improved a lot by switching from the "simple from an experienced
point of view" to "simple for someone who hasn't done any packaging yet,
at all" mindset.

The "Introduction to Debian Packaging"[0] article linked from one of the
pages above is a very solid start (even though it uses dh short form -
explaining all the steps it does for even the simplest packages would
make a novice's head hurt), and one of the best introductions I've seen
so far. If I'd attempt to write a packaging guide, for non-compiled
software, I'd start from there: "Read THAT until it gets to
debian/rules, and instead of doing what it says, do THIS-AND-THAT,

Simply listing steps to do isn't all that useful in my opinion: one will
not know WHY that step is done, or what it does (or $deity forbid, how
actually do that step [see: "5 - modify the files in the debian

It's great to have a summary, as a kind of Table of Contents, but
without explanation, it's a bit... too little. So, once there's more
content on these WiKi pages, they can be very useful, they do have the
potential, but they're not quite there yet.

 [0]: http://wiki.debian.org/IntroDebianPackaging


Reply to: