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Re: Debian changelog vs upstream changelog

Le Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 11:06:51AM +0800, Paul Wise a écrit :
> On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM, Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> wrote:
> > I propose to store this information and similar ones in a parsable file in the
> > debian directory of the packages. For instance, debian/upstream-metadata.yaml.
> > For packages stored in a VCS, this information will be easy to retreive. The
> > retreiver system can then crunch the files and sumbit a proper table to the
> > Ultimate Debian Database (UDD), which is a convenient entry point to build
> > dynamic websites.
> ...
> > aqwa『debian』$ wget http://upstream-metadata.debian.net/table/DOI -O - 2>/dev/null
> ...
> Could you maybe add something human-readable to the site? Not everyone
> understands perl ;)
> Some links to the different available tables would be nice.
> I probably said it before, but I don't really like storing this
> metadata in source packages since the metadata is likely to change
> independently of the source package (like the Homepage and watch
> file). I'd prefer a database and management interface like
> screenshots.debian.net or debtags.alioth.debian.org for this. I wish I
> had time to help out by writing something for this :(
> You might like to start a new thread on this upstream metadata stuff
> on debian-devel btw.

Dear Paul,

thanks a lot for the feedback. Indeed, I did not leave an URL to the base page
because it is not very informative yet. Until I have a good documentation and a
good proof of principle, I will avoid raising the issue on debian-devel as
well. This will help to keep discussions there as high profile as they should

About the canonical location for the metadata:

I think that the source package is actually a very good place when it is
stored in a VCS – which is an increasingly common feature. In that case, there
is no need to upload a new package to change the metadata. In the current
system, interrogating one package via the web interface refreshes the data. I
will study if it is possible to make a commit hook that is specific for the
upstream-metadata.yaml file, so that a commit could trigger a wget > /dev/null
command that would activate the upstream-metadata.debian.net data gatherer.

The advantage of this system is that when we distribute the source of one
Debian package, it contains a snapshot of the upstream metadata. This is good
for archival, and makes this information available in an
infrastructure-independant manner to the projects that are downstream of

For packages that are not stored in a VCS, my current idea would be to have the
yaml files stored in a central repository instead. The gatherer could fallback
on that location when there is no VCS information for the package.

Again, all of this is very preliminary and undocumented. The main message I
would like to give is that indeed, for all the information that is not specific
to Debian, there must be other ways to make them flow from the maintainer to
the user without transiting through the debian/control file.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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