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Q. about Tinkering with Debian Source Code


I'm trying to dip my toe in the waters of editing the source code of Debian packages, and I've started with the simplest, most innocuous program I could think of - sl (the ASCII train that goes by on the screen when you mistype "ls" as "sl).

When I use "apt source sl" (from sid, into its own directory) and compare that tree (?) with what I get if I download via what that suggests (git clone https://salsa.debian.org/debian/sl.git) (into its own directory), I notice that the Makefile in the Debian version is slightly more complex. I also notice some extra code in the Debian's "sl.c" file which is not in the Git version's, which indicates to me that the Debian version has updates that are not in the "newest" version on the Git repository.

Should I consider the Debian download as the official source, of the Git version? If I were to make changes to feed back to the project, would I want to make the changes to the Debian version or the Git version? Has the Debian version essentially forked, making the Git version irrelevant? If I start with the Git version, and it were to get accepting back into Debian, wouldn't that erase all the extra stuff that has been added to the Debian version that is not in the Git version (unless I find it all and re-include it)? If I start in the Debian version and it gets accepted back into Debian, wouldn't that make the Git version just that much more irrelevant?

I'm not even sure my questions make sense; I'm just trying to wrap my brain around the basic process.


Kent West                    <")))><
Westing Peacefully - http://kentwest.blogspot.com