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Re: Debian source tree and incremental diffs question..

Dale Scheetz <dwarf@polaris.net> said:
> On Tue, 7 Jan 1997, Richard Jones wrote:
> > 
> > Hiya, i thought I saw someone mention that upgrades to existing
> > packages were available via diffs to the source.  Thus allowing the download
> > of just the diff rather than the entire .orig source ( assuming of
> > course you have the source to the original package online).  Now I
> > checked out the FAQ and a few other places and see no mention of this.
> > If this feature is available can someone tell me where I can read about
> > it, if it isn't is something like this (or perhaps even something
> > similar to FreeBSD's CVS upgrade system) likely to become available?
> > 
> First, let me make clear that we are not talking about upgrading binary
> packages here. This is strictly a source packaging issue.

Yup, that is understood.

> That said, you are referring to the new source package format, which has
> many nice features, most notably the one you referred to.
> First, not all packages have been converted to the new source format, so
> you will see some packages in the old format. (I am going to assume that
> everyone knows how the old format worked)
> The new format consists of a source tree in package_xxx.orig.tar.gz that
> unpacks into a source tree as nearly identical to that provided by the
> upstream provider as is possible; a diff.gz file containing the
> differences between this source and the debianized version of the tree;
> and a "Debian Source Control" file .dsc that will tell the packaging tools
> how to unpack the source file.

Yup, I think that maybe my original message wasn't too clear.  What I was trying to get at was, when a new upstream release is made and this filters down the stream to a Debian package, will the Debian maintainer simply replace the old xxx.orig.tar.gz with the new upstream version and update the xxx.diff.gz file accordingly, or will a source patch be made available to update the old xxx.orig.tar.gz to the new upstream version (I know some upstream maintainers supply such patches , but by no means all).  On most updated releases such a patch will be orders of magnitude smaller than a fresh version of the full upstream version.  Once again I apologise if I'm stating/restating the obvious here.

> If you have installed the dpkg and dpkg-dev packages, more recent that
> 1.4.0 you will be able to unpack the source using these files with the
> following command:
> dpkg-source -x package_xxxx.dsc
> in the directory containing the orig.tar.gz, diff, and dsc files. This
> will generate a source tree you can build with:
> dpkg-buildpackage

Just out of interest is there something along the lines of dftp-source,
or dpkg-source-ftp?

Richard Jones

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