Patch systems in packages
psusi at cfl.rr.com
Tue Aug 19 21:34:29 BST 2008
Reinhard Tartler wrote:
>> I think our job as downstreams is to provide patches to Debian, not
>> tell them how to maintain their packages.
> Please note that adding a patch system to a package that previously
> didn't adds additional noise in the debdiff. So please, don't.
> (well, perhaps debdiff could be taught somehow to handle patch systems
> more sensibly, which would alleviate the issue here)
I have to disagree. If you are applying patches you must use a patch
system to comply with the debian packaging guidelines ( otherwise you
modify the .orig.tar.gz and you shouldn't be doing that ). If you run
into a package that does not already have some kind of patch system
there are 2 possibilities:
1) The package has never needed to be patched before
2) The package has been patched by directly modifying the original
upstream files, which is a big no-no
In the second case, the package should be fixed and the upstream debian
maintainer notified and asked to repair their broken package as well.
In the first case, if you are going to start patching you need to use
one of the patch systems to do it. Ideally you would want to coordinate
with the debian package maintainer to use whichever patch system he
prefers so he will accept the diff adding the patch and the patch
system. Practically speaking though, it can take weeks, months, or
sometimes years to get a debian developer to pay attention to your
patch, so really you just want to go ahead and diverge by adding a patch
system, try to get it added to debian, and if the debian maintainer ever
manages to add the patch, even if he uses a different patch system, you
can just drop the ubuntu changes when merging from debian.
Sure, you will have to manually merge debian updates until they accept
the patch, but using the patch system in the first place makes this as
simple as grabbing the debian package, inserting the patch system again,
and copying over the patch file from the last ubuntu package.
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