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Re: debian and upstream (was: overhaul of the debian ocaml policy)

On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 03:19:21PM +0200, Stéphane Glondu wrote:
> Le 23/08/2010 11:13, Ralf Treinen a écrit :
> >>>> Whenever you patch the source, IMHO, you limit the patch to:
> >>>> - fix the build system to make it compile on Debian (source -> binary
> >>>>   package, new OCaml version)
> >>>> - fix security bugs
> >>>
> >>> Certainly not. We do add features (I am speaking here of debian packages
> >>> in general, not only of ocaml libraries), and we fix things that are
> >>> broken.
> Not any feature. I would tend to agree with Sylvain on this one. It may
> cause portability issues with non-Debian users, and can make the
> packaging harder to maintain and update (see advi, for example).

The situation with advi has improved a lot. Currently, the debian patch set
is very small.

Besides, I do not see why we shouldn't add any feature. Of course,
we should try to cooperate with upstream and have changes integrated
upstream, but there are various reasons why this is not possible. In that
case, our priority should be the quality of the software provided by
our packages. 

> If the patch is committed upstream, then I guess it's ok to put it in
> the Debian package if it is backward compatible somehow... but still,
> care should be taken and I wouldn't do that if I wasn't following
> upstream development more than for my average package.
> Upstream development should be done upstream (I don't say that the
> packager should not contribute...). A package is perfect when the
> packaging is trivial and there are no patches.

This is the ideal situation, I agree. However, there are two sides who
have to cooperate to maintain that ideal situation.

But this is really getting off topic now. This discussion would be more
appropriate for debian-project.


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