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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:
> > 
> > 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.
> > 
> Sorry, diffs between upstream source releases are not provided. Although,
> if you have the diff, you could certainly use it to create your own "new"
> upstream source and unpack it using the above process.

Does anyone else think it would be a good idea for the individual Debian package maintainers distributing source diffs to the packages they maintain when a new upstream release leads to a change in the Debian package?  I can see such a system having several advantages.  Two I can think of off the top of my head are:

1) Massive bandwidth savings for a modest tradeoff in mirror site storage overhead.  Source diffs are generally many times smaller than an entire package especially when the changes involve small bug fixes between minor releases.  I'm unsure of others situations but in my environment the one-time cost of the storage needed to store the source-tree locally is much smaller than the ongoing
costs (in both time and money) for the bandwidth required to download complete packages, which may only reflect several K or even several bytes worth of changes to the original source.

2) Ease of people at the Debian user level ascertaining the cause of bugs.  If a user chooses to update using diffs to the upstream source then if something breaks that wasn't broken before the update the diff allows them to determine more precisely what the problem may be.  (as an aside, from the security paranoia perspective, if a bogus evil update entered the tree or if a site had to be extra careful about what they let onto their system, the source diff option adds an ideal upgrade route ). 

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

Hmmm, if the above idea caught on these would prolly be near essential I'd guess.

> Luck,

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