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Re: Computing Build-Depends at build time (and other updates to debian/control)?

On Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:56:14 -0400
Josh Triplett <josh@joshtriplett.org> wrote:

> Paul Wise wrote:
> > This would be incredibly useful for moving towards a world of
> > automatic packaging based on whatever metadata upstream is already

Just because something useful exists within a particular collection does
not mean that the entire collection deserves to be in Debian. We've had
this discussion before about packaging all of CPAN automatically or all
of pypi automatically or all of whatever other virtual-packaged site is
the current flavour.

It can be *very* hard to remove obsolete "packages" from such sites,
even as the original author. The mere presence of an upstream does not
make the software a candidate for automatic packaging. There must be a
human filter before it reaches dput and more than just filing an ITP.

Automated packaging is approximately equivalent to some of the lowest
quality packaging I've seen.

Keeping the packaging manual makes it less likely that even more
rubbish will end up in the archive.

> > providing for other package management formats.
> >
> > https://summit.debconf.org/debconf14/meeting/25/debdry-debian-dont-repeat-yourself/
> > http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2014/debconf14/webm/debdry_Debian_Dont_Repeat_Yourself.webm
> > https://wiki.debian.org/AutomaticPackagingTools  
> That describes the exact case that motivated me to raise this; the
> uniform upstream packaging metadata used throughout the entire Cargo
> ecosystem contains all the information needed to generate
> Build-Depends (and Depends) on all other necessary Cargo packages.
> I'd like to avoid repeating that information.

It may look like that at the moment - as soon as those dependencies
start getting complex (typically, as soon as something in the chain
depends on something which is *not* part of the special clique or not
written in that particular language) then it all falls over in a heap.
pypi and CPAN both suffer from this, it's a form of NIH. Upstream also
rarely cares about architectures, another large area where Debian needs
to have precise and accurate details.


Neil Williams

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