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Re: Reducing allowed Vcs for packaging?

On Sun, Feb 26, 2023 at 02:24:26PM +0100, Bastian Germann wrote:
> Hi!
> During the last weeks I had a look at the Vcs situation in Debian. Currently,
> there are eight possible systems allowed and one might specify several of them for
> one package. No package makes use of several Vcs references and frankly I do not
> see why this was supported in the first place.

Policy §5.6.26 says it is not permitted.

> For the allowed systems the situation in unstable is the following:
> arch is used by 2 packages pointing to bad URLs: #1025510, 1025511.
> bzr is used by ~50 packages, half of which point to bad URLs.
> cvs is used by 3 packages, 2 of which point to bad URLs: #1031312, #1031313.
> svn is used by ~130 packages, many of which point to bad URLs.
> darcs, mtn, and hg are not used.
> We can see: The Vcs wars are over; with git there is a clear winner and in my
> opinion, we should remove the possibility to use most of them for package
> maintenance. It is one additional barrier to get into package maintenance and
> we should remove the barriers that are not necessary.

One barrier is that our work is based around tarballs and quilt,
instead of using upstream git trees and commits.

> I would like to suggest removing the possibility to specify several systems and
> removing all systems except bzr, svn, and git, while deprecating bzr and possibly svn.
> This means solving the four listed bugs and convincing the cvsd maintainer to
> switch or drop the Vcs-Cvs reference. Then, the Debian Developer's Reference
> should specify the changes in §6.2.5 and whatever parses Vcs-* in debian/control
> should be adapted to do the specified thing.

Policy §5.6.26 would be the primary definition you want to change.

Not using any Vcs for maintaining packages in Debian stays permitted, 
and I do not get your point what we would gain if the cvsd maintainer 
drops the Vcs-Cvs reference while continuing to maintain the package
in cvs.

In practice e.g. tracker.d.o seems to support Vcs-Bzr but not Vcs-Cvs,
and there is no requirement for tools to drop working support for
something that is no longer specified.

Vcs-Browser is Vcs agnostic and would stay permitted for any kind of Vcs,
including ones never listed in Policy.

> Thanks for any comments,
> Bastian


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