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Re: Consensus Call: Do We Want to Require or Recommend DH; comments by 2019-06-16

Adrian Bunk:
> On Sun, May 26, 2019 at 11:34:39AM +0200, Vincent Bernat wrote:
>> ...
>> We have a reputation of having difficult
>> packaging practices. We uphold this reputation as long as we have so
>> many ways to do the same thing.
>   [citation needed]
> I do honestly not know what statements/comparisons from people outside
> Debian are the basis for this claim, and whether making dh more mandatory
> is even related to them.
> [...]
> Often the most difficult part of packaging are the unique rules the 
> Debian ftp team requires for debian/copyright that are not required in 
> distributions with actual lawyers. That's a completely separate topic.
> It is perfectly possible that there is something else I am not aware
> of, and you are assuming everyone in this discussion is.
> It would therefore be really useful if you could send some links to 
> statements from people outside Debian *why* they consider Debian to
> have difficult packaging practices.

Unfortunately I don't have *links* either, but when introducing people
into the world of Debian packaging recently, I always got the impression
that they were heavily overwhelmed by the complexity of the Debian

Depending on the software you packages, doing the initial packaging
already requires a lot of knowledge about library handling, doc build
systems, makefiles, the filesystem hierarchy standard, language-specific
toolchains, etc.

To properly build the package you have to learn either sbuild or
pbuilder. Which involves understanding and creating chroots/VMs/...

For proper version controlling, things like git-buildpackage (and/or
dgit) and the "3.0 (quilt)" format need to be understood.

And for testing, you need to learn about piuparts, autopkgtest, as well
as again chroots and/or containers for local testing.

That's a very high bar for entering the world of Debian packaging.

My opinion is that more uniformity in packaging practices will bring a
bit more simplicity as well. Therefore I applaud Sam's initiative to
require DH whereever it's sensible.

I think that Debian would gain a lot if the vast majority of packages
were packaged using DH and development would happen in Git on Salsa
using a common Git format. I agree that there should be exceptions.


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