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    New experimental source package format
    Submitted by colinwalters on Monday, July 22, 2002 – 02:24
    PackagesIf you’re a Debian developer, or someone who often works with Debian source packages, you have probably experienced the hodgepodge of build systems in Debian’s thousands of packages.

    Some include tarballs inside of tarballs; others have a separate debian/patches directory. In some, when you upgrade a package to a newer upstream version, you may have to change three separate variables in different files. This is just plain broken, and has led to the design and initial implementation of a new source package format for Debian packages.

    Here’s a summary of new features:

    • Supports more compression/archive types (.tar.bz2, .zip)
    • debian/ directory is stored as a tarball, not as a diff.
      This means you can include binary files like .pngs.
    • Integrated patch application into source unpacking process. The directory debian/patches will be examined for patches to apply.
    • Regular text as well as xdelta patches supported.
      Note: xdelta support has not been extensively tested yet.
    • Supports multiple upstream source packages.
    • Can generate patches, for placement into debian/patches directory.
    • Clean, extensible class-based implementation architecture.
    • For more information, see here

    Category: News

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    Subject: We need to find out a better interaction with CVS
    Author: Manoj
    Date: Monday, 2002/07/22 – 09:17
    For simple native packages, and packages with a well formed upstream source, and one which does not require long standing third party patches, the new source format buys us little. Indeed, for packages in CVS, separating out the patch that creates the debian dir from the other diffs may be a hassle. All my packages meet this criteria, and I suspect the majority of packages in debian may as well. (it is easy enough to generate the single diff from the upstream sources required by the version 1 format, since the upstream sources live on the vendor branch, and not the HEAD, and hence it is straightforward use of cvs diff).

    It would be interesting to determine what would be the best way for cvs-buildpackage to interact with this new source format.

    Manoj Srivastava
    1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05 CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
    1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B 924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

    [ return ]


    Subject: no really good ideas yet; but a few comments
    Author: colinwalters
    Date: Monday, 2002/07/22 – 20:33
    One thing I should note is that I’m pretty sure the new source format doesn’t make the situation worse for cvs-buildpackage; and you still at least get nice features like being able to include a .png in your debian/ directory without resorting to uuencode.

    That being said though, I don’t really have any good, solid ideas for better integration with cvs-buildpackage. I am definitely interested in hearing what people come up with though.

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    Subject: Idea on how to do it with the new format
    Author: gork
    Date: Monday, 2002/07/22 – 16:38
    It would be fairly easy to do with the new format to include the CVS directories in the initial tarball (helper script to generate source tarball from CVS or something).. Then you could have a script which reversed all the patches in the debian/patches, did a CVS update, then reapplied debian/patches. I think that due to the new patches format, this becomes a lot easier.
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