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Re: Debhelper compat levels

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 02:06:03PM +0200, Simon Richter wrote:
> So in order to do the backport, I first had to get debhelper 11 (or 12).

You make it sound so hard, but in my own experience it really isn't.

> The debhelper 12 package itself has a compat level of 12, which means I
> couldn't compile it without the package itself being installed. Downgrading
> the compat level to 10 and relaxing the build dependencies seems to have
> worked, so I had a debhelper 12 package.

That's not true.  debhelper doesn't require debhelper to build itself,
because it uses it runs itself instead of the system installed version.
You can easily note this in d/rules:

	./run dh $@

> This package then depends on dh-autoreconf, which in turn requires
> debhelper 11 to build, so I had to again downgrade a compat level and build
> dependencies to build.

1) you can drop the dh-autoreconf dependency in a private backport, it's
   not really needed if you don't use it
2) you can just build dh-autoreconf right after building debhelper, and
   you're done

debhelper's d/control has a bunch of comments in its Dependencies: and
Breaks: field, instructing people on the possible changes that can be
done if the dependencies listed there are too strict for one's use case.
Really dh-autoreconf is hardly the most annoying one.

>  - Should unstable/testing refrain from using any debhelper compat level
>    that isn't supported in stable?

No, thank you.

>  - Should debhelper itself and its dependencies use a debhelper compat
>    level that is supported in stable?

This doesn't really make sense, because debhelper doesn't use anything
other than dpkg-perl (and *this* is the only contraint that we need to
be afraid of, and it should stay at most at the version in the current
stable) and perl to build.  The dependencies can just be built after

                        Mattia Rizzolo

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