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Re: No native packages?

Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org> writes:

> I don't really see the problem here, if you are going to patch the
> package you might as well do the one line change from "3.0 (native)" to
> "3.0 (quilt)", and rename the source tarball to add «.orig».

> One of the issues with native packages before format 3.0, was that it
> required the downstream to choose a patching system, add the patching
> machinery to debian/rules and debian/control, etc, but this is now a
> trivial change. It could also be pretty inconvinient if the packaging
> had to diverge substantially as the debian/ directory would get in the
> way, this is also not an issue anymore with format 3.0.

> I was a very strong proponent of avoiding native packages for
> non-Debian-and-derivatives specific software, because it used to be a
> real burden for downstreams, but not so any longer. Now I just think
> that while it might be convenient, it's just bad style (and I'm guilty
> of this myself, as I've not yet converted libpmount to non-native, for
> example).


If you're using a Git-based workflow, or anything equivalent, you can
easily merge in changes to the upstream's debian packaging files and do
all the other things you might want to do in pretty much exactly the same
way whether the package is native or non-native, including dropping
patches into debian/patches.  It just doesn't matter very much any more.

It's mildly harder if you're working outside of any VCS, but not really
that much.  Mostly it's a touch harder to merge subsequent upstream
changes to the debian packaging files if you're not using a VCS.

I'm still religious about using non-native packaging for my own packages
that have any conceivable use outside of Debian or derivatives, since I
find it aesthetically ugly, and therefore psychically painful, to make new
releases for the rest of the world that contain only Debian packaging
changes and therefore want the versioning space to make Debian-only
changes without making a new non-Debian release.  But I don't see any
point for packages that exist solely within the Debian world
(kerberos-configs, for instance).

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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