apt-get source changes for packages maintained in VCS

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Sun Aug 5 16:39:38 BST 2007

On Sunday 05 August 2007 05:23, Reinhard Tartler wrote:
> Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at kitterman.com> writes:
> > First, pyspf is not maintained in the Debian Python Modules Team svn. 
> > The Debian packaging for it is maintained there.  The actual Python
> > module is maintained on Sourceforge, so as written, it is incorrect.
> I don't think that really matters here. If you want to be supercorrect,
> you would have to express this information in extra fields, and even
> express if the 'upstream branch' (if any) contains the complete
> upstream, or only releases of it. See [1] for a more verbose discussion
> about this.
> [1] http://wiki.tauware.de/misc:vcs-packaging
> However, I'm wondering if we really need that much detail.
> > Similarly, if I am considering an Ubuntu revision for a package, the
> > Debian SVN is not the source for code that I'm patching, the Ubuntu
> > source repository is.
> This is adressed by changing the XS-Vcs-Bzr field to pointing the
> correct branch on launchpad. If you are patching an unmodified debian
> source package, then the information is correct anyway.

You make the assumption that for my purposes I am interested in something 
different than the released code.  That is, IMO, the fundamental problem with 
this change.  The user asked for source from a release and you think he 
should have something different.

The information is correct, but not useful.  If I am fixing a bug in Ubuntu, I 
need to start from the Ubuntu code base, not a Debian code base with unknown 

> > I can understand the desire to inform developers that there is a VCS (I
> > think that's sensible), but it is at most tangential to many use cases.
> I can only see one use case: A developer wants to get the source
> (interactively!) to either examine it or work on it. I think we can
> expect him to figure out himself about details like the branch having
> only the packaging information and such.
> Perhaps you can give me some more use cases?

So far, for me, the only time VCS issues have come up is when I've been 
working with the group that maintains the package to deal with the issue and 
so I already knew about the VCS.

The real question is what is the authoritative source for a package?  I 
maintain it's the Ubuntu repository.  Any other alternative leads to chaos.

Perhaps what is needed is an apt-get vcs option that pulls the latest from the 
relevant VCS and a notice (not a warning requiring confirmation) with apt-get 
source so that people who want the repository source can get it without 
disruption and the people who want the non-released updates can get them.

Scott K

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list