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Re: let missing-debian-source-format lintian tag be a warning!

Hi Mattia,

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 03:26:30AM +0200, Mattia Rizzolo wrote:
> Yesterday I touched another package without the debian/source/format file.
> It was sad: I had to repackage the entire upstream tarball to switch from .xz to
> .gz only to make dpkg happy and recognize it as non-native.
> For me this is a nonsense.

> Lintian has a info tag for this for a lot of time:
> http://lintian.debian.org/tags/missing-debian-source-format.html and in fact the
> package without that file are decrasing, but very slowly, making unnecessary
> difficult to contribue for prospective new contributers, and in the long term
> really deprecating the source format 1.0.

I understand not wanting to repackage the upstream tarball for source format
1.0.  What I don't understand is why you *did* do this, instead of just
switching the package to format 3.0 (quilt) as part of the update you were
doing, or why you think a lintian warning would make any difference.

The biggest reason for maintainers to have not migrated to 3.0 (quilt) is
that it's additional work with no immediate benefit.  If they don't have
patches against the upstream source, it's an easy conversion but provides
little benefit for the current version.  If they do have patches against the
upstream source, there's a more obvious benefit (standardization of patch
systems) but it makes the conversion non-trivial.

A new upstream version that provides its sources using a compression format
that's incompatible with 1.0 is the obvious opportunity to switch to 3.0.

Of course, in the absence of a 3.0 (quilt) switch, there's still no reason
to repack the tarball; the only thing you'd need to do is recompress it
(unxz; gunzip).

> Someone opened a bug against lintian: https://bugs.debian.org/702671 and I
> rised myself this concern to lintian maintainers, but it turn out that
> there are people that does not want lintian to be too pedantic nor to be
> forced to do as a simple thing as adding a 10-bytes file to their debian
> packages.  In fact I'm wondering what is the rationale to stay with the
> 1.0 format, given all the benefits of the 3.0 (quilt) format:
> https://wiki.debian.org/Projects/DebSrc3.0

Well, this is a one-sided view of the question from the creator of the 3.0
format, listing no disadvantages whatsoever.

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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