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Bug#492661: developers-reference: Bogus phrasing about .orig.tar.gz repackaging.

Hi all,

> -<emphasis role="strong">must</emphasis> contain detailed information how 
> -repackaged source was obtained, and how this can be reproduced in the
> +<emphasis role="strong">must</emphasis> be documented. Detailed information 
on how the
> +repackaged source was obtained, and on how this can be reproduced must be 
provided in
>  <filename>debian/copyright</filename>.  

What format should this "detailed" description be in? How detailed?

* A description in words of what was done: "The non-free font files were 
deleted from the source tarball"

* A description in commands of what was done: "find -name \*.ttf -delete"

* A brief description with a pointer to a log of what was done? "The non-free 
font files were were stripped from the downloaded file to create the 'orig' 
source package. See the file README.Debian-source for full details."

I like the last of these the best, where the log file is generated from a 
standard (yet to be decided!) repackaging tool that clearly shows what was 
originally downloaded and what was done to it. 

Perhaps it's also time to start thinking about how the machine-readable 
copyright files [1] fit into this. 

	[1]	http://wiki.debian.org/Proposals/CopyrightFormat

Since the point of the machine-readable copyright proposal is to remove 
arbitrary free form lumps of text from this file, it is perhaps opportune to 
consider the side-effects of this new language on that proposal which mandate 
the inclusion of unspecified amounts of "details". (Despite the efforts of 
two or three contributors to the copyright format proposal, there is still 
nowhere to include anything about repackaging; the suggested fields are 
routinely removed -- perhaps this illustrates a shortcoming of a wiki for 
writing such documents more than anything else!)

>  It is also a good idea to provide a 
>  <literal>get-orig-source</literal> target in your
>  <filename>debian/rules</filename> file that repeats the process, as 

Is this wording is slightly at odds with what policy 4.9? (Although that is a 
matter of interpretation that can't be agreed upon, it would seem, see 

> get-orig-source (optional)
>    This target fetches the most recent version of the original source
> package from a canonical archive site (via FTP or WWW, for example), does
> any necessary rearrangement to turn it into the original source tar file
> format described below, and leaves it in the current directory.

Thus policy currently states that get-orig-source should (a) fetch the tarball 
and (b) repackage it, while the wording in that patch to devref only has 
get-orig-source repackaging the tarball.

There is then the old chestnut of what one means by "most recent" source for 
the get-orig-source target. Presumably one doesn't mean the most recent 
release from upstream as we already have uscan to do that. Using 
get-orig-source only to do the repackaging to regenerate the debian orig 
tarball would seem to make the most sense.

I wonder if the work to clean up this part of devref actually needs to be part 
of a wider effort to work out what is meant by get-orig-source and to 
appropriately document it. Placing yet another divergent interpretation of 
get-orig-source into devref doesn't seem to work towards that goal.

food for thought!


Stuart Prescott                 www.nanoNANOnano.net

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