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Re: Bug#750576: ITP: debdry -- Semi-assisted automatic Debian packaging

On 29 Aug 2014, at 11:50, Axel Beckert <abe@debian.org> wrote:
> For native or near-native (upstream = debian maintainer) packages
> there also exists the idea of doing the opposite: Generating what is
> needed for upstream setup tools based data in e.g. debian/control. In
> the Perl world that would mean to generate dist.ini (preferably),
> Makefile.PL or Build.PL based on data in debian/control.

Just a minor note for the record: the way I imagine this being done is
not to generate dist.ini but to reduce it to one line, ideally.  That
line would contain [@Debian]

Makefile.PL or Build.PL are good candidates to be generated and that is
exactly what Dist::Zilla does.  dist.ini on the other hand is meant to
be written by the maintainer and should contain the minimum information
needed that is not available elsewhere (in the sense that it does not
already belong somewhere else).  Dist::Zilla plugins are used to gather
the rest of the information and produce the boilerplate needed by CPAN.

A fairly typical dist.ini would contain information about the name of
the package, the author, copyright, and version.  These are all
duplicated in the debian/ directory.  For a native package all that is
needed are a few Dist::Zilla plugins and a plugin bundle
(Dist::Zilla::PluginBundle::Debian, hence [@Debian] in dist.ini) and
Dist::Zilla can extract the information from the debian/ directory.
We do have dh-dist-zilla but the plugins and bundles still need to be
written.  I am planing to invest some time but if there are other
people with more experience in writing Dist::Zilla plugins willing
to help out I would be very pleased.

That all being said it covers only a minority of packages.  For the
majority we want to have debdry proper :-)

Regards     — Elmar

Elmar Heeb
Bläsistrasse 49
CH-8049 Zürich
Tel: +41 79 628 7524

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