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Re: New lintian warning: vcs-deprecated-in-debian-infrastructure


On Thu, 2018-03-22 at 12:47:44 +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> On Thu, 2018-03-22 at 09:58 +0100, Andreas Tille wrote:
> > I admit I do not agree with this and it was discussed here before.  Can
> > we please agree that anonscm.debian.org remains a valid URL and stop
> > starting another round of package uploads for the sake of changing Vcs
> > fields.

> I'm repeating myself, but could we please find another way to store
> this information than in the source package? I'd like to see all of
> the following stored somewhere else than the source package:

> * Maintainer, Uploaders
> * Vcs-*
> * Homepage
> * debian/watch
> Possibly also Section and Priority.

I'm not sure now if this also has been said before, but I'm happy to
repeat it in any case. :) I'd very strongly object to completely moving
those fields out of the source packages, because it means when you get
or have a source package lying around then it's missing important
metadata and it stops being standalone, which would require checking
somewhere online, and you might first need to infer which distro/repo
was this coming from. I'll happily take outdated data than no data any
day, because usually you can use that outdated data to trace your way
to the current one, not so if it's missing.

> All of the above can change and it's silly to have to make a source
> upload to change them. They also easily get out of date and so are
> likely out of date for a stable release.

Yes, it might be silly to have to upload a package just and only to
update that information, or having that data being permanently
out-of-date on stable. But this problem can be easily solved already,
the archive, and most (if not all!?) repo managers have had the
concept of overrides for a very long time, starting with things like

The only thing needed would be to provide that additional updated data,
to DAK so that it can override appropriately. Although ftp-masters got
such requests in the past and were apparently not very enthused (although
I don't see any reasoning behind the wontfix), maybe because of the
required manual work. Perhaps if the data was fed in a similar way how
debtags data is fed then they'd have less of an issue? Dunno really.


> I envision a service, metadata.debian.org, with a suitable
> authenticated API to allow Debian package maintainers to update the
> information, and having tracker.debian.org, dak, and other parties
> fetch the data from metadata service, for inclusion in, say, Packages
> files.

Sure, as long as it only provides up-to-date data to _override_, and not
the entire and only canonical place to store it.

> I think this would be a better thing to spend time on than talking
> again about keeping anonscm around.

And this is still missing the point, as I've also said in the past. The
worst part of this is not IMO to have to update the Vcs fields, which
TBH is one more time too many. It's that it implies any downstream, any
service pulling from the repo, any mirror and checkout, needs to be
noticed in time (while the redirect is in place, because there's now
recommendation to remove it after the next upload!) and then someone or
something needs to update all those references lying around. :(