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Re: infinite number of Debian workflows (Re: Moving away from (unsupportable) FusionForge on Alioth?)




On 22/05/17 16:25, James Clarke wrote:
> On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 03:06:48PM +0100, Jonathan Dowland wrote:
>> On Mon, May 22, 2017 at 12:47:51PM +0100, Sean Whitton wrote:
>>> Someone else already had this idea:
>>>
>>> https://people.debian.org/~stapelberg//2016/11/25/build-tools.html
>>
>> Excellent, this is a great start, and seeing "Michael Stapelberg" for me is an
>> indication of quality.
> 
> You say that, but this is incredibly biased. Even he admits that in the
> colour choice. Disclaimer: as the cowbuilder maintainer (which comes
> from the cow*dancer* source package, for historical reasons, despite
> what the diagram may tell you) I am of course also biased. But I notice
> that for the sbuild path, schroot is completely missing, which is
> implemented in C++ and therefore probably deserves a bright red colour
> just like cowbuilder in his second picture (or maybe even something
> worse, depending on your views of C++). Then there's the extremely
> unhelfpul, hostile comment at the end:
> 
>> I propose to eliminate complexity in Debian by deprecating the
>> pbuilder toolchain in favor of sbuild.
> 
> Now, I am not necessarily against simplifying workflows, but choosing
> one to rule the all arbitrarily because you prefer the language it's
> written in is not the way to go about it. There are also benefits to
> having a variety of implementations; they behave slightly differently,
> sometimes not implementing policy in the same way, and this can be a
> good thing, allowing policy to be clarified, or finding mistakes in the
> other builder, or just exposing flaws in your package. For example,
> pbuilder will by default use a new isolated network namespace for the
> build, whereas sbuild won't, so if you just use sbuild you may not be
> aware of violating policy (4.9). I'm not trying to sell pbuilder over
> sbuild here though; there are also many ways in which sbuild is better
> than pbuilder.

Besides, the sbuild/pbuilder duplicity is the least of your problems in terms of
multiple workflows, because once you choose one of those and set it up, you can
build all packages, and don't have to set the other one up or learn it.

Compare that to hacking on a package which may use
 - debhelper, dh, cdbs or no helper at all (!) for debian/rules
 - quilt, dpatch, simple-patchsys, single-debian-patch for patch management
 - format 1.0, 3.0, native, non-native, multiple tarballs... for the source
 - git-buildpackage, git-dpm, other git repo structure with no helper tools,
svn, bzr, etc for the repository
 - ...

Some of those are easy to learn, and some you don't have to deal with if you are
doing an NMU (e.g. the repository). It's still a pretty complicated picture and
a steep learning curve if you want to start contributing, or want to join a team
that has a completely different setup.

I have to deal with packages in svn, git-bp and plain git, and have started to
write a set of (ugly) scripts that perform common actions in each of those
formats, and a generic wrapper that calls the right one depending on which repo
I'm on, so that I can just do e.g. 'deb update; dch; deb commit; deb build; deb
release; deb tag' and not having to remember all the different command line
switches and options and so on (I have a bad memory and am lazy). This shouldn't
be necessary in the first place; at least a bit of homogenization would make
sense imho.

Cheers,
Emilio