bzr for packaging

Martin Pool martinpool at
Wed Mar 14 04:05:16 GMT 2007

On 09/03/07, Martin Pitt <martin.pitt at> wrote:
> Hi,
> Matt Zimmerman [2007-03-08 16:41 -0800]:
> > Martin and I are interested in feedback about bzr-builddeb, similar tools,
> > and any other practices around using bzr for packaging.
> >
> > What are you doing?  What works well?  What is painful?
> == keeping source packages in bzr ==
> I found having packages in bzr is a great aid for packages which see
> heavy development from my side (e. g. apport, postgresql-common,
> restricted-manager) for the following reasons:

Thanks for the thoughtful response Martin.

>  * Collaboration - merging from each other works really well, painful
>    without RCS.
>  * Community testing - "You test, report errors, I fix/commit/push,
>    you pull and test again" works just wonderful as well.
>  * Developing packages while traveling.
>  * Low overhead and high yield for packages which have lots of
>    changes relative to the number of uploads (like hal).
> On the other hand, the painful things are:
>  * Lots of overhead if all you want to do is a single quick fix to a
>    package, since we do not have the same abstract tool support as
>    apt-get source provides (yay hct :) ).
>  * Easy to get out of sync between the archive and the bzr branch
>    (transitional mass uploads, forgot to check for bzr branch, etc.)
>  * Pushing and pulling from LP still takes quite long. I guess
>    deploying smart server will help tremendously?

It should; there are only modest improvements here in 0.15 but Andrew
is working very hard on speeding it up for the next May release.

> * REALLY REALLY useful for discussing
>   changes with other devs. Kudos to whoever set this up. However, why
>   is this such a secret? It should be prominently linked from
>   {code,bazaar} pages.

It was secret just because we wanted to see how well it would work
with a small userbase.  Apparently it is working pretty reliably, so
maybe we should go ahead and link into it from Launchpad, or at least
from the beta ui.


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