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Re: dpkg-source's future and relation with VCS

On Mon, Feb 11, 2008 at 12:48:19PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> I believe the wig&pen format [1] solves most of those concerns. I believe
> that with some minor changes, it would satisfy the need of most packages
> (even those using complicated build system).

> But the complicated part comes when we try to think of interactions
> between VCS and source package format. 

I think it's a mistake to separate those -- our source package format
is a VCS system; if wig&pen happens to be a more suitable VCS, that's
fine, but it's not inherently superior or inferior to any other VCS,
just because it happens to be Debian-specific.

If you look at it that way, then instead of having a ".git" directory
with metainfo about the package, you have a "debian/patches" directory
(and some tarballs in ../ probably); instead of a dpkg-source plugin that
generates a .git.tar.gz you have a dpkg-source plugin that generates a
set of wig&pen tarballs.

> I'd like to keep the (default)
> source package format mostly VCS agnostic

If you think about it that way it's meaningless to say the source package
format is "VCS agnostic" -- it _is_ a VCS all on its own.

> - dpkg-dev (or dpkg-dev-vcs) provides VCS-specific scripts in
>   /usr/share/dpkg-dev/ that can be used to generate a wig&pen source
>   package from a VCS repository

ie, "that can be used to covert from the VCS used in development to
wig&pen VCS".

Note that VCS conversion is harder (and slower) than it looks.

> - the package's repository contains a debian/source.rules that provides a
>   target "build" to create the wig&pen source package,

You shouldn't need to write any code to create a source package -- that's
what dpkg is for. 

> - note that debian/sources.rules could support a "build-v3" target that


> - also note that we can have several variants of the build scripts even
>   for a single VCS (think one using feature branches and one that doesn't)

The git way of looking at that would be "same scripts, but different
branch"; the debian/patches way of looking at it would be "same scripts,
but different patches enabled". Other VCS'es would probably require a
different checkout/source package entirely (CVS, darcs). That shouldn't
need per-package code (in debian/rules or similar), just per-VCS code (eg,
"git branch").

> - in any case, I suggest using the Build-Options: field discussed several
>   times already (#229357) to let the dpkg-source know that the package supports
>   the new source format (instead of using a dedicated field)

And afaics it's not really something you can do automatically (ie, you
need a human to decide if you want to use the "experimental-featureset"
branch on a per-package basis), so shouldn't need any new options,

> I plan to write code in that direction:
> - add the API required for wig&pen
> - make dpkg-source be able to generate wig&pen source package
> - then add some scripts that use the wig&pen API to generate source
>   packages from a VCS directory
> Comments are welcome.

So far, wig&pen has objectively failed as a source format; please let
the git/bzr/etc format succeed or fail on its own merits, without tying
it to a wig&pen resurrection attempt...


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