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Re: Do we want to Require or Recommend DH


On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 08:33:44AM -0400, Sam Hartman wrote:
> I'd like to call out one specific thing from Andreas's quote and the
> general argument.  It's the belief that we've reached a point where in
> some cases uniformity is more important than maintainer preference.

I second this.

With my cross/bootstrap maintainer hat (it's not an official hat, but I
think I have this hat at this point in time), I can say that this
uniformity is key to making archive-wide change feasible. During my work
on cross/bootstrap, I've sent more than 1500 patches. I guess that
almost half of those were one of:

 * use dh_auto_configure
 * use dh_auto_build
 * don't strip before dh_strip
 * bump debhelper compat level

In other words, a significant chunk of packages would have just worked
had they used debhelper. On top of that, I observed that a fair number
of broken packages had one other bug "please make the build
reproducible". I would be surprised if the reproducible experience is
much different from mine. Maintainer preference has a real cost to the
project and that cost needs to be measured in weeks or months, not

Due to the added friction I've generally avoided fixing packages that
were using cdbs or no debhelper at all. My personal view is that we
should stop using cdbs entirely, but I'm not sure that consensus is
achievable on this point.

This is a statement towards the general direction. I have no good idea
how to turn that into policy or the like.

Given my little experience with Haskell packages, I would exempt the
haskell ecosystem from a rule.

Hope this helps as a data point