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Re: No native packages?

On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 07:16:44PM +0100, Jakub Wilk wrote:
> Dmitrijs Ledkovs wrote on his blog[0]:
> >Generally if software is useful in Debian Project it can be useful
> >for other debian-like and unlike projects. In particular native
> >packages do not offer the same patching flexibility as 3.0
> >(quilt), thus forcing downstream distributions to inline modify
> >packages without DEP-3 headers. This hurts us, when trying to
> >merge useful stuff from derivatives back into Debian, as changes
> >are not split into individual patches.
> I would tend to agree that we have too many native packages,

There can only be "too many" of anything if it is (or can be) harmful in
some way to have the thing in question.

I've yet to see a convincing argument why using native packages would be
harmful in any way. The argument about "merging patches" doesn't
convince me, at all; mostly because "downloading a source package and
inspecting it" isn't what I would consider an interesting way to
communicate with downstreams. Instead, I'd hope they talk to me, or put
their stuff in a SCM repository somewhere (all my packages are), or some

While I agree that in some cases it might be a bad idea to package
something as a native package, for trivial things (like my package
"fdpowermon"), this isn't a big deal; and the overhead of having to deal
with an upstream tarball and/or upstream build system etc is just not
worth it.

> though I doubt you'll find (m)any supporters of the idea of banning
> them completely.
> It's not only about derivatives, but also in-Debian forking, i.e.
> NMUs. NMUing native packages is quite awkward.

That's a bug then, which we should fix. Banning native packages isn't a
fix, however, it's a copout.

Copyshops should do vouchers. So that next time some bureaucracy requires you
to mail a form in triplicate, you can mail it just once, add a voucher, and
save on postage.

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