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Re: DEP-14: renaming master to main?

> On Mon, 2020-06-22 at 17:50 +0200, Michael Biebl wrote:
> > there has been a lot of talk recently about how master is a loaded term
> > that should be avoided.
> > If I read the news correctly, github and others are going to change the
> > default master branch to main.
> > I don't really have any strong opinion on that matter myself.

Is there consensus that, in projects that want to rename away from
'master', 'main' is the best replacement name? (I've also seen 'default'
or 'devel' suggested, for example.) Archive-wide changes in Debian tend
to take a very long time, so we might want to wait until there's one
choice that has obviously "won", to be consistent with other git users.

'main' does already mean something in both Debian and Ubuntu (the main
archive area), although if 'main' becomes as widespread in git branch
names as the current use of 'master', it might be less surprising to
use it anyway.

'devel' also has a meaning in Ubuntu (it's an informal alias[1] for
whatever is the newest under-development suite, currently 20.10 'groovy')
although it doesn't have that meaning in Debian. ubuntu/devel would be
consistent with that and DEP-14.

On Mon, 22 Jun 2020 at 18:24:54 +0200, Markus Frosch wrote:
> I would prefer debian/unstable as a default suggestion, since it reflects
> the repository logic of Debian itself.

On Mon, 22 Jun 2020 at 18:43:43 +0200, Gard Spreemann wrote:
> Since DEP-14 already accepts naming according to release codenames,
> perhaps recommending debian/sid for the main development branch would be
> a better course of action?

Whether you can use debian/unstable (or equivalently debian/sid)
as HEAD depends on your workflow. Specifically, imagine your upstream
releases a version that is not ready for testing/unstable, like a Linux
-rc version or a GNOME x.odd.z version; and you want to put that version
in experimental for people to try. What do you do?

One workflow is that you would use the HEAD branch for the experimental
version, and split off a separate (perhaps short-lived) branch for the
older version in unstable if you need to update it. If this is what you
do, then you should use a suite-neutral name for your "latest versions"
branch, and neither debian/unstable nor debian/sid is suitable -
you need either the debian/master from current DEP-14, or a direct
replacement. Most GNOME-team packages do this, because some members of
the GNOME team strongly prefer this way round.

Another workflow is that you would use the HEAD branch for the *unstable*
version, and split off a separate (perhaps short-lived) branch for the
*newer* version in *experimental*. If this is what you do, then you
can use either a suite-neutral name or debian/unstable (or debian/sid)
for the version in unstable, and debian/experimental for the version
in experimental. This is what I do for dbus. In this workflow, you
are correct to say that a direct replacement for debian/master is not


[1] a symlink, but not mentioned in the Release file - this is the same
    as rc-buggy -> experimental in Debian

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