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Re: debian/rules: Moving to debhelper or cdbs

On Thu, 19 May 2005 00:29:03 +0200, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) <cobaco@linux.be> said: 

> On Wednesday 18 May 2005 08:06, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>> I find myself agreeing, except that I feel that way as soon as
>> people get away from tried and tested POSIX commands and
>> dpkg-dev. There are far more people who are competent with cp,
>> install, mv, make, and other common POSIX commands, and may not be
>> up to date with a distribution specific mini helper language.

> hm, they may be competent with the POSIX commands, but knowledge of
> those commands without knowledge of policy doesn't cut when building
> packages
-> so you're right back to distribution specific knowledge being
-> needed anyhow

	No. Distribution knowledge is required to build for inclusion
 in debian -- but modifying a debian package build system, or building
 a debian package on another system (which I have done in the past)
 requires no distribution specific skills. 

        As for Debian developers, I would think that knowledge of
 policy and best practices is the very least of what one should
 expect. I mean, if I am not even conversant with packaging policy,
 why am I more than just a glorified packager? My expectation of a
 developer is not only someone who knows what debian packaging
 entails, but some one also involved in expanding the state of the art
 in that area, and helping with better integration, and actively
 involved in making the OS seamlessly integrate the component

> Using debhelper scripts you can't forget or get wrong any of the
> litle details policy mandates (it'll happen sooner or later), you're
> also writing that code once for debian, instead of X times in X
> packages, and many eyes make all bugs shallow right?

	Yes, I am quite familiar with the helper-packages-as-a-crutch
 argument. I am also of the opinion that the growing adherence to this
 view would lead to the decline of packaging in Debian in the long

-> IOW debhelper tends to help enforce policy, and causes improved
> code-reuse both good reasons to prefer it from a distribution
> standpoint

        Policy is not writ in stone, ya know. An informed developer
 community, that actually thinks about the whys and wherefores of
 policy and best practices, rather than blindly toeing whatever line
 the automated tools tell one to toe, is a far better thing for

>> I appreciate the build system for certain red hat and suse packages
>> not being arcane and distribution specific when I try and
>> incorporate changes made in packages on those distributions, and I
>> tend to return the favour.

> hm, If you do this often it's a net loss: instead of studying one
> piece of code once to figure out what it does, you now have to study
> n pieces of code all doing essentially the same thing for n packages

        None of this is rocket sceince. I doubt that much “study”

        Anyway, I doubt that this line of discussion is going to go
 anywhere, I am painfully aware that my view point is a small and
 rapidly disappearing minority.  I just want people to know why
 bugs filed against my packages switching them to debhelper shall be
 closed, and why I feel no desire to “compromise”.

"Everything to excess.  Moderation is for monks." Lazarus Long
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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