Backporting, PPA, and other important things in life

Toby Smithe tsmithe at
Wed Jan 7 22:46:24 GMT 2009


On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 11:08 PM, Khashayar Naderehvandi
<khashayar.lists at> wrote:
> So far, I've uploaded two packages to the PPA, audacity-1.3.6 and
> hydrogen 0.9.4beta2. Audacity 1.3.6 was released a while ago but it's
> neither in debian unstable, nor jaunty. I've been trying to figure out
> a way to update the package directly on debian, but couldn't really
> find my way around their BTS, and, frankly, even if I had, I really
> wouldn't know what to do, since I don't have debian installed. There
> is a backporting request on launchpad for 1.3.6, but since it's not
> even in jaunty yet, that bug report is invalid. Like you can see, I'm
> still trying to understand what the proper way is to get this package
> in any archive other than ubuntustudio's own PPA.
> (One more thing before I finish (wrt audacity 1.3.6): Like I write
> above, I'm still a bit confused about what steps to take regarding
> packages that have new upstream versions, but aren't packaged in
> either debian or ubuntu. With new packages, revu's the place. With
> backports, it's launchpad. How about this case, then? Is the proper
> way a "needs-packaging" bug in launchpad + a link to the package I've
> made?)

With regards packages in Debian that you wish to update in Ubuntu, the
process - when I was more active - is simple: file a bug against the
package, attach a debdiff. The new version must recognise the
divergence, by using the "Debian" revision,
<upstream-version>-0ubuntuX. If it's the first Ubuntu package, that
would be -0ubuntu1. I am aware that with the whole everything-in-bzr
thing, this might change: you may need to provide a diff against a bzr
branch, or something, but I am not aware of the mechanisms of that,
for a simple reason: I am now more active in Debian.

Though I say "more active", that doesn't mean particularly active.
However, I do still maintain mscore and fluid-soundfont, and I do not
have Debian installed on my system. If I need to test something, I can
use a Debian chroot, and when I build packages, I use a Debian
pbuilder: there is no need to have  Debian install.

Furthermore, the Debian bugtracker is also quite straightforward when
you understand that, unlike Launchpad where there is a choice, Debian
requires that all actions be taken via the e-mail interface. After you
get that and learn a couple of commands, it's quite simple.

Finally, if you are going to update Ubuntu's audacity version to
diverge from Debian, be aware that, unless Debian makes an obsoleting
update, you will have to do merges rather than (auto)syncs in future.
Ergo, I suggest that as well as filing an Ubuntu bug to update, you
also file a bug in Debian with the same debdiff attached, or, better,
one ported to Debian, with any patches you've had to make. Though
Debian is slow, it is nonetheless important, and the maintainers will
appreciate your work.

Enjoy yourself,

 - Toby

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