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Re: New upstream packages?

On 20041218T182328-0500, Erinn Clark wrote:
> How do you deal with new upstream releases? The general answers I'm getting
> seem to be along the lines of "move the debian/ directory to the new
> release and tweak it til things work". Is this correct? If so (or if not),
> shouldn't there be something in devref or policy about it?

Like with many other things in Debian, how you do it doesn't matter as
long as you don't break things.  Things that should be considered

 - Use a -1 Debian revision number for the new upstream release.

 - Preserve old changelog entries (sounds obvious, but there have been

 - Add an entry "New upstream release" to the changelog.

 - Upgrades to the new version should preferably be silent and
   nonintrusive (existing users should not notice the upgrade except by
   discovering that old bugs have been fixed and there perhaps are new

 - When an upgrade is necessarily intrusive (eg. it will break existing
   usage), the upgrade must be noisy (a note in README.Debian or other
   documentation is generally not enough; NEWS.Debian note may become
   okay once apt-listchanges with NEWS.Debian support becomes standard
   operating practice)

 - Existing Debian changes need to be reevaluated; throw away stuff that
   upstream has incorporated (in one form or another) and remember to
   keep stuff that hasn't been incorporated by upstream, unless there is
   compelling reason not to.

I'm probably forgetting something here.

It isn't really possible to give comprehensive generally useful
procedures - the situation dictates what you need to do.  For many
packages, for small upstream upgrades, uupdate (from devscripts) can
make all necessary changes.  Even then, you should be cautious and read
upstream release documentation, lurk in upstream user forums and bug
tracking systems looking for problem reports, test, test, test and test

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Debian developer 


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