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Re: Minified javascript files

On Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 07:13:01PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> The counter-argument from affected maintainers is that we *do* have the
> source.  It just happens to be in a different source package.  We even
> know that, because when we build the binary package we use the version of
> the Javascript library derived from that other source package.
> There is therefore no *actual* violation of the social contract here, just
> an inadequacy of bookkeeping.

Agreed, which is why I too find Ian's proposal interesting.

The problem I see with it, is that it adds complexity to the judgement
of whether something is suitable for a source package or not (on all
actors involved: maintainer, ftp-masters, QA, bug reporters, etc.). With
something like that we'll have 3 cases:

- DFSG-free source[1] -> stay in the tarball, not hidden
- non DFSG-free "binary" -> must be removed, via repacking
- "binary" generated from DFSG-free source available elsewhere in the
  archive -> stay in the tarball, hidden at the dpkg-source level

This is quite a bit of extra complexity. And it would require
documenting not only that something is being removed at the dpkg-source
level (the dpkg-source configuration file for the removal feature would
suffice), but also documenting where the corresponding source is.

Another problem is that the DFSG-freeness of the material contained in a
(source) package is no longer a "local" property. If one day the package
containing the corresponding source vanishes from the archive, unrelated
packages, possibly many of them, will become RC-instabuggy.

On the positive side, the proposed dpkg-source exclusion feature is
interesting in its own right, to ensure that something included in the
tarball does not interfere with the build process, as already mentioned.
(Yes, that could be achieved in debian/rules via "rm" invocations, but
having a declarative way of doing so would be preferable.)


[1] in the sense of "preferred form of modification"
Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
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