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Re: Introducing dgit - git integration with the Debian archive

On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 12:51:31PM +0100, Dmitrijs Ledkovs wrote:
> I have maintenance access to UDD & have filed a few bugs about it, and
> all I can say is that dgit so far is getting a lot of things right:


> 2) removing automatic importer
> forcing all the checks on the developer side & forcing VCS commit to
> match the src upload is a massive win. It means that one can actually
> trust the archive & VCS commits. And they will always match. (Well one
> can even verify that by unpacking the .dsc and comparing it to the
> Dgit: commit id) After all the archive will always be authoritative,
> as that's that gets GPG signature, is mirrored and gets deployed to
> the users.

I don't think "removing the automatic importer" is an improvement at all. 
If we want VCS branches for the whole of Debian that we can rely on,
something / someone needs to update them automatically when a package is

The problems with the UDD automatic importer have all been around its
failing to cope with any kind of manual changes to the bzr branch.  I.e.,
if even once the importer sees an upload before it sees the corresponding
commit on the bzr branch - because a maintainer did a bzr push --overwrite,
or because of a race between the upload and the branch propagation, or
because of a bug on the server - then that package is forever after in
"manual" import mode until someone with admin privileges can kick the
machine.  This is a pretty bad failure mode; but it's a failure because the
importer can't cope with changes to the branch, not because automatic
importing was being done.

> And one is free to push pristine-tar (if makes sense/easy to
> generate), and/or any other branches into the repository (git-dpm,
> git-quilt, etc)

I would have expected dgit to support pristine-tar
directly/automatically/unconditionally.  Any system that requires me to
download the same information (== the upstream source) both from a VCS
repository and the archive in order to get a fully-formed source package for
upload is a non-starter.

> I am exited about dgit, as for the first time it will be possible for
> derivatives to centrally share history with Debian.

I am as well!

> In practice one doesn't actually care how far back the history goes,
> as the history that is interesting is where developers get to do
> intermediate commits between the two uploads to granulise the
> changes....

I don't agree with this at all.  I have regularly made use of the UDD
branches to examine the history of packages (and not just the Ubuntu
history, but also the Debian history).  Being upload-level granularity makes
it less useful than if it were at the granularity of a VCS branch being
committed to natively by the developer, but it's still *very* useful for
understanding the uploader's thought process at the time a change was made.

The fact that git will allow us to graft the developer's own VCS on to these
dgit repositories in a way that UDD never did is an important improvement,
but as this is *optional*, not importing the package history from the
archive would make dgit much less useful for the common case than UDD is

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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