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Re: Q. about Tinkering with Debian Source Code


Disclaimer: I am not a Debian member and only prepare the Debian packages
of my own upstream project. So i'm just one or two steps ahead of you.

Kent West wrote:
> Should I consider the Debian download as the official source, of the Git
> version?

s/of/or/ ?

It depends on where you plan to submit your changes.

If you want to help developing the upstream software project, then work
on a git clone and ask the upstream project people for advise how to

If you want to improve the Debian package, then work on the source tarball
and the Debian addons
Check the Debian package repository for pending patches which are not yet
part of an uploaded package version:

A good collection of links for a package is provided by the package tracker:

In any case you should try to find out what the Debian patches do:
(also in sl_5.02-1.debian.tar.xz and in salsa.debian.org as .debian/patches)

In the end you will need a sponsor for getting the new package version
into Debian.
Begin to read

> 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)?

That's why the debian stuff is separate from the original stuff.
(But the original stuff is often a bit outdated, compared to the original
 project's git.)
Of course, a new upstream release needs to be checked whether the patches
still make sense and apply properly.

> 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?

Normally you are supposed to discuss your findings and code changes with
upstream, so that your patches become obsolete with the next upstream
release. Up to then, they could fix bugs, implement new features in
advance, improve documentation, or make the package more feasable for Debian.

Sometimes it might be necessary to permanently deviate from upstream
decisions by permanent patches. But that should only be the last resort
if upstream cannot or does not want to follow your well motivated proposals.

Have a nice day :)