Patch systems in packages

Phillip Susi psusi at
Thu Aug 21 21:35:31 BST 2008

Reinhard Tartler wrote:
> I really wonder who brought up the (wrong) claim that *not* using a
> patch system was deprecated in the first place.

It isn't deprecated; it's something you were never supposed to do.

>> In the first case, if you are going to start patching you need to use
>> one of the patch systems to do it. 
> I disagree with the necessity with doing that. And I strongly disagree
> telling Debian Developers to use one.

The last time I read the debian packaging guide it was debian developers
telling ME to use a patch system, and not to modify the original
upstream files directly.  This was reinforced by lintian complaining
loudly if you do so, and I had packages rejected for doing this.  It
certainly makes managing the changes across several versions ( both
local and upstream ) much easier.  When you add more than one trivial
patch without a patch system it becomes impossible to manage them since
they get merged into one large patch, so you have a hard time pulling
just one back out, or sending it upstream, or fixing it to apply cleanly
to a new upstream version.

Has debian policy changed in the last few years?

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