[ANNOUNCE] dh_splitpackage 0.1

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Sat Jun 4 03:00:14 UTC 2011

On Friday, June 03, 2011 06:55:23 PM Zygmunt Krynicki wrote:
> W dniu 03.06.2011 21:17, Evan Broder pisze:
> > Ubuntu has gotten quite a bit of flack from the debhelper maintainer
> > for making independent changes in the past ([1], [2]), and doing so
> > again seems like a bad plan.
> Perhaps posting this from my @canonical.com address was a bad idea. I'm
> not doing this as a Canonical employee, nor as a ubuntu developer. I'm
> doing this as an upstream (actually working on Linaro tools) that uses
> Debian/Ubuntu as the delivery platform.

I thought Evan's answer was quite appropriate for a message written to ubuntu-
devel and I didn't notice you wrote from a Canonical email address.  I 
seriously doubt that it had anything to do with it.  My response isn't changed 
any by the fact that you wrote from a Linaro address this time.

> My response below may seem to be quite harsh but I hope to keep it factual.
> For context. I wrote dh_splitpackage yesterday after being upset with
> dh_install and failing to find any packages that would do what I wanted
> easily. I did it while packaging the tools I'm developing daily so that
> my users can install them easily. Nothing in this has any relation to my
> employer, Canonical, Ubuntu or Linaro. I made this and the fault, if
> any, is mine.

I fail to find any evidence in Evan's reply that he thought otherwise.  I find 
it quite odd that you are so certain of it.  It may not be clear to you, but 
Ubuntu and Canonical are not at all the same thing.  

> > dh_install already has a --fail-missing option. It seems that this
> > would cover half of your use case,
> To the best of my knowledge dh_install cannot do what I wish. Well, I
> could copy file by file, directory by directory, carefully observing the
> right paths, adding exclusion patterns and so on.
> That's not my goal.
> My goal is to split a package (which I understand as "move each file
> from debian/tmp into the appropriate sub-package") easily, without too
> much, error-prone, shell scripting and without doubts I missed something
> and it's actually failing silently (or will fail silently when upstream
> files move around later).

Evan didn't say it would.  He said he thought --fail-missing would cover part 
of your use case.  Your response confirms that he was correct.

> > though I gather there are some
> > outstanding issues with it ([3]). CDBS also has a list-missing target,
> > though it doesn't seem that it can be made to fail the build, and also
> > doesn't cover your overlapping files issue.
> See, that's not solving my problem.
> > It seems like it would be much more productive to work with Joey to
> > try and fix dh_install --fail-missing, and possibly add a new
> > --fail-on-overlap option or something.
> Productive for who? I never even knew Joey (no disrespect to him). I
> solved my problem and shared the solution. My problem is solved. Better
> yet, I did not make the general problem worse.
> Look at this as a contribution to possible pool of solutions that the
> greater Debian community may choose to adopt.

My impression is that for that to be possible it probably needs a different 
author.  You don't appear to have any interest in collaboration to improve 
things for the greater benefit.  I see you've had some involvement in Ubuntu 
for some time and are an Ubuntu Member, so I think you should know you are not 
working with people the way we try to do in Ubuntu.  When I read your initial 
message I thought it sounded interesting.  I'm not interested anymore.

My response below may seem to be quite harsh but those are the facts as I see 

> > But in any case, I think that
> > adding a new debhelper script without consulting Joey at all will hurt
> > Ubuntu's image in Debian's eyes, and that's a bad thing.
> I'm sorry I did not know Joey. Perhaps if I was working on packaging
> lots of 3rd party software I would get know him eventually. Should that
> prevent me (or anyone) from coming up with a good technical solution to
> a problem? Even if dh_splitpackage will rot in the internet archive it
> _did_ solve my problem and I _did_ share the solution hoping for the best.
> Now for some rants of my own:
> Let's play a game that I did knew Joey or other dh_* maintainers.
> IMHO engaging in platform development would be pointless. It might end
> up being political. It would most likely drag on and on, possibly never
> reaching a consensus. It might require me to rewrite the script in perl,
> shell or another language. And it could easily fail.
> Why would  I engage in any of that? Why would any upstream do? (and see
> how friendly upstream I am to even share my solution with anyone, do you
> think random upstream developer would?). Debian is an insanely complex
> political being, with many rules that are fully versed only by people
> that dwell in this environment for many years. That's not a good ISV
> environment. Perhaps this is not a popular view but IMHO it's rather
> true (why would I be writing this email otherwise?)
> Getting involved in fixing the platform the way Debian maintainers and
> many of my colleagues at Canonical do would be diverging from my goals.
> I'm an upstream working on a project. This project is not Debian.
> Getting involved with Debian, dh_* maintainers, authors and
> contributors, while noble, would prevent me from attaining my goal on a
> predictable and timely basis, which is to get the software I'm working
> on into the hands of my users.
> End of rant.

Your project (Linaro) is downstream of both Ubuntu and Debian, so trying to 
contribute your work upstream is a good thing.  If you aren't interested in 
collaboration, I don't understand why you bothered to write ubuntu-devel.  
Lots of people contribute to Ubuntu that don't have Ubuntu development as 
their primary focus.  The same is true with Debian.

Yes, attempting to collaborate is not guaranteed to succeed, but that doesn't 
mean the attempt isn't worthwhile.

> Now I understand that you had no bad intentions towards me and this is
> all caused by me posting from @canonical.com without giving any kind of
> explanation on why I did this.

No.  It's completely unrelated to the email address you posted from.  It was 
caused by an Ubuntu developer trying to give you helpful advice on how to get 
your work included in Ubuntu (because that's what it looked like you were 
trying to accomplish).  Fortunately your response to his helpful suggestion 
has reduced the risk you'll ever be inconvenineced by such responses again.

Scott K

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