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

On 2019-05-27.12:27, Jonas Meurer wrote:
> 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
> ecosystem.

As a recently promoted DM, this was definitely my experience. It's taken
me years to become somewhat competent at building packages.

> 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/...

You also have to even know that sbuild and pbuilder are options, how
those relate to all the other tools like debuild, pdebuild,
dpkg-buildpackage etc..

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

This is also not at all obvious for a newcomer.

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

For a long time I didn't use piuparts or autopkgtest due to barely being
aware that they existed. And don't forget the dozens of useful
devscripts like wrap-and-sort that it seems not all packagers know

> 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.

Absolutely. This is an incremental change to simplify one corner of the
sprawling Debian packaging ecosystem. I hope it's just the first of
many recommendations for a "happy path" to Debian packaging nirvana.

> 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.


Scott Leggett.

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