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Re: RFS: b5

On Tue, Feb 28, 2006 at 04:32:16PM +0100, Thijs Kinkhorst wrote:
> Native packages should ideally only be packages that have no real use
> outside of Debian.

Really?  I've never seen such a guideline (although I admit it's been a
long time since I read the relevant documents).  In fact, the Debian
Developer's Reference, section 5.4, seems to suggest that the difference
is purely technical and has no political or social implications.  If you
could show me some document that explains whether and why native
packages are not preferred for software that could live outside Debian,
I'd appreciate that very much.

> The same goes for packages bfc, python-selecting, sokoedit, stx2any:
> why are these Debian native packages? All of these do not seem to be

Because when you are the upstream author, native packages are easier to
maintain and build, and because I can't see any possible harm done by
building a package as a native package, I have been distributing my
own projects as native Debian packages.

> Debian specific tools. Since you are the upstream author aswell, you'd
> best create an .orig.tar.gz "release" (without the debian/ dir), and
> then package that as a regular, non-native package. That allows for
> other distributions to include the software aswell, if they wish so.

I don't understand this argument, because the presence of a debian/
directory does not make it harder in any way for other distributions to
package the software.  It is also customary to include .spec files in
source tarballs _just in case_ somebody wants to build a RPM from the
source; and if I separated "the pristine source" (which is a virtual
concept in this case) from "the debian-specific source", I would have to
duplicate the effort of maintaining changelogs and other metadata, or
write scripts to automatically generate the "pristine" source from the
"debian-specific" one.  This does not make sense to me.


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