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Re: Do we want to Require or Recommend DH

On Mon, May 13, 2019 at 8:34 PM Sam Hartman wrote:

> As promised, I'd like to start a discussion on whether we want to
> recommend using the dh command from debhelper as our preferred build
> system.

This is already the case AFAICT.

> But I think what we're really talking about is whether maintainers
> should be expected to apply well-written patches to convert a package to
> using dh.  That is, is not using dh a bug.
> And at some level I think we're asking whether it is appropriate to NMU
> a package to convert it to dh.
> Today at least I don't think we're talking about making not using dh an
> RC bug.  It would not make a lot of sense to me to start there.

I don't think these are appropriate.

I think conversion to dh should only be done when doing hostile
hijacking of packages, salvaging packages, adopting packages,
orphaning packages or team/maintainer uploads and only if the person
doing the conversion builds the package twice (with and without dh),
inspects the resulting changes to the binary packages with diffoscope
and is confident that each change is appropriate.

> Exceptions
> ==========

I think we should allow the cdbs maintainer to use cdbs instead of dh
in their packages :)

> so, what do you think?

I don't think there is any way to require packages use dh, unless you
want to forcibly remove/orphan packages or remove maintainers that
won't use dh?

I think that we should encourage experimentation with better
alternatives to dh, such as if someone wanted to revive the efforts to
build Debian packages using Gentoo's ebuild framework.