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Re: A message from CMake upstream: announcing dh-cmake

On Thu, 2018-07-05 at 14:04 -0300, Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer
> From what you write above I tend to think that simply by not using
> dh-cmake whatever upstream has defined as packaging it will be simply
> ignored (ie, it will become a "standard" CMake project).

Yes, this is true. dh-cmake only adds optional new functionality and
doesn't take anything away from existing packages.

> Now it turns out that you get a bug report where you need to split
> the packaging. It's not an upstream issue per-se, but rather a
> packaging one. Following normal Debian workflow that would mean
> simply creating a new Debian revision.

In our opinion, this actually *is* an upstream issue. To explain why, I
think it would help if I give a brief explanation of the CMake

CMake is intended to be a high-level, cross-platform buildsystem that
lets the end user use whatever tools they like most. Barring hard
technical limitations (such as functionality that is highly specific to
one operating system), if a CMake project is written properly, the
developer and end user should be able to:

* build and run the software on their operating system of choice,
whether it be Windows, Mac, or Linux (among others),
* generate build files for their favorite build tools (Makefiles, Ninja
files, or project files for various IDEs), and
* through the use of CPack, generate installers in whichever format
they desire, including .deb, .rpm, WiX for Windows, and .dmg for Mac.

Expanding on the third point, ideally, upstream would properly split
the project output into components that have all the files in the right
place. Then, the end user can generate well-formed packages in any
format they want with CPack, or, in this case, with dh-cmake in
cooperation with CPack.

If any of these assumptions don't hold true, then the project isn't
utilizing CMake to its full potential, and it can create a poor
experience for the end user if they can't use the tools they feel most
comfortable with. In this case, if a Debian developer can't generate a
package from it using dh-cmake, then we consider it an upstream bug.

> What would happen with dh-cmake? Would be a new upstream release
> required? Would the package maintainer need to patch the packaging
> editing a CMake file?

In a word, yes. See my comment above about this being an upstream

Of course, many upstream projects won't do things correctly, and the
Debian maintainer will have to do a lot of work no matter what tools
they use. We realize this is unavoidable. In that case, the solution is
to package it as a "traditional" Debian CMake package, without dh-
cmake, the way it's always been done.

This project is meant for the subset of cases where upstream DOES
package it correctly, leaving almost no work for the Debian maintainer
- just add configuration files for dh-cmake and it's ready to go right
away, complete with upstream's dependency graph and project

> [+dfsg] Maybe you can work out to fix this so a repackaging is not
> needed? That would be *really* welcomed.

I have a question about this (and I apologize if this is slightly off
topic): VTK includes "convenience copies" of third-party libraries it
uses to avoid "dependency hell", and also because we've made
modifications to them that haven't yet been upstreamed. I know that on
Debian it's not allowed to *use* these libraries (and we have flags to
use the system versions instead), but do they have to be removed from
the tarball entirely to comply with DFSG?

If the DFSG modifications are because of a non-free file in VTK, we
would certainly like to know about it, and possibly try to fix it. We
don't intend to distribute anything with VTK that's under a non-free,
restrictive license.