Use of the XS-Vcs-bzr (or -git, ...) debian/control field

Michael Vogt michael.vogt at
Thu Mar 1 22:02:10 GMT 2007


[resend from ubuntu-devel-discuss]

I would like to start a discussion about adopting the XS-Vcs-*
debian/control field in our packages. The value of the field should be
the location of the version control system used to maintain this
packages, e.g. XS-Vcs-Bzr: 

Debian is using this in its PTS system and it will go into the
developers reference. See and 

There are several benefits for this field. One is that launchpad could
parse it and automatically link in the packages page to the right
branch from which that package was build. 

But the main advantage to me is that this way each developer can see
if and what VCS is used. Then he can either notify the maintainer of
the package that a new version needs to be integrated into the VCS or
just submit the patch into the VCS himself (for
e.g. ~ubuntu-core-dev).

I think this is important for ubuntu because:
a) a lot of packages are maintained in bzr nowdays and the number is
   increasing (NoMoreSourcePackages!)
b) packages are frequently uploaded by people who touch the package
   for the first time (e.g. for transitions) without notification or
   VCS commit

Having a VCS out of sync with the reality in the archive leads to
dropped patches, merge conflicts and general grief. 

I think that usage of the X-VCS-* tag can help to reduce this
problem a lot.


More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list