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Re: Feedback on 3.0 source format problems

Nikolaus Rath <Nikolaus@rath.org> writes:

> Are there really upstreams that do that? I'd expect that the primary
> consumer of Debian patches are other distributions, downstreams, and
> users.

> I'd think that anything that's relevant for upstream development is
> forwarded to upstream by the maintainer in whatever format upstream
> prefers. This requires extra time, but I would be surprised to hear if
> there are maintainers that have sufficient time to create patches that
> are suitable for upstream, but don't have the little extra time to send
> them upstream.

There are definitely upstreams who like to look at what patches Debian is
shipping at their convenience, rather than having to ask the maintainer.
The maintainer may have already sent along the patches, but it's easy to
lose track of what patches are still being applied.

The other case where being able to point upstream at a directory of
patches is very nice is when upstream has been dormant for a long time and
then comes back to life.  It's an easy way for them to pull a bunch of
changes at once for a new development cycle.

I've also found it significantly smooth over relations with upstreams who
are otherwise quite prickly about modifications to their distributed
releases.  Having all the patches be published and clearly documented
somewhere without anyone having to ask wins points for transparency and
makes them feel like the whole process is less out of control and more
congenial and collaborative, even if you were also in the habit of sending
changes upstream.  It eliminates the fear that you're also applying other
ugly hacks you're not telling them about that might be maintenance burdens
for them.

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

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