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Re: src-packages and package manager

On Fri, Apr 24, 1998 at 09:43:31AM -0400, Thomas Lakofski wrote:
> (Not wishing to contribute further to that pine thread...)

Agreed, I think it's time to kill that one.

> So, since we've got to have some packages distributed only as sources, how
> about a little bit of extension to Debian's package management to handle
> it nicely?  One of the major reasons I use Debian is because I can make
> sure I'm up to date with my software (and hence secure, etc) by upgrading
> periodically with dselect.  If major components of my system are only
> available in source form, this defeats this ease of use a little.  So how
> about something (in Deity, I guess) which would know about source
> packages, tell you when they're updated, and also know how to build binary
> packages from them, and install accordingly.

There are two things I would like to see in this regard:

1. *-src packages.  For packages like qmail and pine which require
pristine source (or binaries, which amounts to the same thing as in pine's
case) but can be distributed by FTP, the general way to do it with Debian
should be a -src package as is done with qmail and may be done with pine.
This way you can at least see and obtain new versions without watching the
source tree (which you can't easily do anyway)

2. A suggestion for the helper tools, to know the name of the dsc file
used to make the package with dpkg --info.  A line in control would do it.
This line may or may not need to include the version..  This is important
for packages whose .dsc file is not named as the package is.  Examples
include libc6* whose .dsc is glibc, whiptail which is part of the newt
source, and urlview, which is part of the mutt source.  It need not be
used by anything other than a curious person who wants to build a custom

> Not essential, and it's a bit of a blue-sky feature, but I think it'd help
> retain some of the core value of Debian.  Plus, we wouldn't have drawn out
> conversations about such-and-such.deb going source only because it would
> be no problem -- no more difficult to install than any binary .deb.

It'd be harder, but not unreasonably much more so.

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