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Re: Format 3.0 (git)

Hi Bernhard.

If I may briefly summarise your objections against the source format 3.0 (git):

 1) It increases the risk of distributing non-free files.

 2) It reduces our user's freedom to modify the software we redistribute,
    because they may not be comfortable with git.

 3) Compared to 3.0 (quilt), it does not present well the changes made by Debian.

I think that all these three points can be worked out.

1) Debian packages using the 3.0 (git) format have more content that their
counterparts, but we could compromise on some limits.  For instance, to not
include any history in new packages.  Second, the past versions contained in
the package could be limited to one or two release horizons.  This way, a user
following Debian accros multiple releases with the source CDs would have the
history over the period he used Debian, and of course possibly more with
Internet acceess as the git clone downloaded by debcheckout would contain

2) The format 3.0 (git) is a dpkg-source format, which means that the usual
commands will give to the users the same unpacked package as if using other
formats, with the exception of a .git directory that can be ignored.  Moreover,
I think that we are gradually shifting to an era where the VCS comments are an
integral part of the source code.  I therefore see the 3.0 (git) format as
more free than the 1.0 or the 3.0 (quilt) formats for any source package
that I maintain as a Git repository, because it preserves the VCS comments.

3) As all other formats, the 3.0 (git) is neutral in terms of presenting the
changes introduced by Debian in an intelligble or obsfucated way.  The
patch tracker is a very useful ressource, that can also be used with the
3.0 (git) format, either in a purely descriptive way, or because a patch
system is used on the top of Git.

In conclusion, I think that the 3.0 (git) format is actually quite in line with
the ideals of Debian: it provides the full source with VCS comments, in a way
that eases the creation of patches for Upstream or the maintainer, and that
does not hide problems as intermediate revisions are available.  To this
paraphrasing of our Social Contract, I would add that 3.0 (git) also fits with
another Debian ideal, technical excellence.


Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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