recreating historic packages

martin f krafft madduck at
Wed Oct 1 09:33:53 UTC 2008

also sprach Manoj Srivastava <srivasta at> [2008.09.30.2344 +0200]:
>         Hmm. In my case, the integration and build branches are the same
>  (master, for me). It would be slightly awkward to put stuff into a
>  ./debian/patches for me, since ./debian is a submodule, and thus a
>  different project. What you put into your build (master) branch, I put
>  into a submodule. I find it conceptually cleaner; ./debian has little
>  to do with upstream, but is close to all other ./debian directories in
>  my other packages.

Do you know of anyone else using this approach?

I completely understand what you are saying, and I see the point.
However, from the perspective of a whole distro, or even multiple
distros working together, this only makes sense if everyone shares
the same common base for ./debian. Else, packages get tied to their
maintainers and even less cooperation will be possible.

If we come to accept this, then I can't help but note that debhelper
and cdbs already fill this niche.

Fortunately, I don't think the discussion is about whether your
submodules-based method makes sense or not, but about how we can
harness the power of VCS for packaging.

topgit is a pretty damn good contender so far, I think, as it allows
the creation of a patch series as well as the merging of all
feature branches into a monolithic diff. So we don't even have to
discuss whether we should be creating patch series or not.

What we have not figured out is how to recreate packages from
history. Obviously, if we just provide monolithic patches, this is
trivially achievable by using single tags, as you keep saying.

However, then we are losing the clear feature separation, and if we
want to keep that, then we need some other approach. My suggestion
is to use two tags per feature branch (without polluting
refs/tags/*), and so far, I have not come across a better approach,
that can cater to all the different workflows we've seen so far.

 .''`.   martin f. krafft <madduck at>
: :'  :  proud Debian developer, author, administrator, and user
`. `'` -
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fixing systems
echo Prpv a\'rfg cnf har cvcr | tr Pacfghnrvp Cnpstuaeic
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