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Bug#610298: phasing out tar-in-tar in source packages

On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 07:29:42PM +0100, Luk Claes wrote:
> I don't think tar-in-tar source packages are the main obstacle to make
> the assumption that apt-get source will deliver a clean separation
> between upstream and 'local' changes. But I do agree that *if* 3.0
> source packages are 'a should' then tar-in-tar should not be used anymore.

I don't see the logic of this. A SHOULD requirement is something you
should do per se, not because it's a consequence of something else. Even
if 3.0 is not a SHOULD requirement, you might be forced to use it by
some external condition, for instance because your upstream releases
.bz2 tarball and you don't want to repack them. Most maintainers in
those cases will go for 3.0 even if it's not a should requirement.

Hence I don't see why policy couldn't have a SHOULD requirement on
avoiding tar-in-tar even if it lacks a SHOULD requirement on 3.0 (which
I do think is too early to have). It might happen that maintainers will
then need to switch to 3.0 to adhere to the SHOULD requirement about
tar-in-tar, as it might happen today to maintainers that don't want to
repack a .bz2 upstream tarball. What would be the problem with that?

On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 08:24:25PM +0100, gregor herrmann wrote:
> And we have them for this reason; or put otherwise, we'd like to get
> rid of them which requires at least one of two things:
> - ftp-masters accept very small packages (which they have declined to
>   do in the past, a recent request for the current policy is #606411)
> - build tools provide a mechanism to build different sub-packages
>   separately. dpkg with source format v3 alone does not help here (beyond
>   unpacking etc. the tarballs), http://packages.qa.debian.org/pkg-components
>   is a first step but still very "young" [0]
> I don't mind deprecating bundles with tarballs but just recommending
> against them is not enough to make them go away :)

That is of course a very good point. However, even this argument seems
to be orthogonal to my proposal, in the following sense. *If* ftpmaster
disallow too small packages, you need a technical way to coalesce
several small upstream tarballs into a single Debian source
package. That is something which you can do with source formats 3.0, so
you would have a way to adhere to a SHOULD requirement against
tar-in-tar. What am I missing here?


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, |  .  |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams

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