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Re: Support specifying upstream VCS location in debian/control


Sean Whitton wrote:
> On Wed 25 Jul 2018 at 05:14PM +0100, Iain Lane wrote:

>> Some tools, like git-buildpackage, can support merging an upstream's
>> version history into Debian packaging repositories. This enables more
>> rich usage of (D)VCS when packaging - for example `git blame' works
>> properly.
>> Currently there's no canonical place to specify where upstream's VCS is
>> located so people have to set this up manually themselves. If there were
>> such a place, it would be possible for tools like `gbp clone' to
>> configure the VCS to know about the upstream history when checking out a
>> packaging repository.

I like this use case.  Thanks for bringing it up.

> In fact, there is: the Repository field in debian/upstream/metadata.[1]


I would have expected to find this information in debian/copyright.  The
Source field there sometimes names an upstream VCS but isn't required to
do so; I'd be in favor of some tightening of the requirements in
copyright-format based on how packages in the archive have been using
the field (for example, encouraging a list of lines each of which has
the same format as Vcs-* fields).

>> The request here is to ask whether this would be suitable for
>> debian/control, along the lines of the Vcs-* fields specified in 5.6.26
>> and the Homepage field in 5.6.23.

My feeling is that it doesn't belong in debian/control.

The debian/control file is the source for control fields that appear
in the binary package, Packages file, and Sources file.  If I
understand correctly, the primary consumers of this field would
already have a copy of the source (via Vcs-Git) so they can get the
information from other files in the debian/ directory; they don't need
to get it from the Sources file.

With that in mind, Sean's suggestion of using debian/upstream/metadata[1]
sounds good to me.  Would it work well for you?

>> If so, I'd be happy to propose wording for policy. I'm not set on any
>> particular name, so please feel free to weigh in on that if you'd like.
> Even if we did want to add this to d/control files, we would want to see
> it already used in d/control files in the archive before documenting
> that in Policy.

On this subject more generally, I think there's a bit of a
chicken-and-egg problem.  If we want new fields in the Packages or
Sources file, it does make sense to coordinate a little with potential
consumers, and it's not obvious to me where the right place to start
that is (dpkg@packages.debian.org? a DEP? something else?).  So I
understand why people ask policy team.

For the future, I'd like to have good advice to offer for this kind of
case, even if that advice is as simple as "ask dpkg@packages.debian.org"
or "ask ftp-master", say.


> [1]  https://wiki.debian.org/UpstreamMetadata

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