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Fwd: Q. about Tinkering with Debian Source Code

Oops; when to Thomas instead of list; sorry. (Gmail, ugh!)

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On Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 3:23 AM Thomas Schmitt <scdbackup@xxxxxxx> wrote:

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/ ?

Oops, my bad. Yes, "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 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.

I think this is making sense to me.

An upstream app is developed, and accepted into Debian. Debian developers (DDs) make Debian-specific improvements via Debian patches and release a Debian package that then gets installed on Debian end-machines via apt[-get|itude]. At this point, the Debian package (upstream version plus Debian patches) and the upstream may differ significantly. The DD (or other) who made improvements may also get them incorporated into the upstream package via upstream-maintainer connections, which then results in a new upstream version that then gets incorporated into Debian, which can then be released without having to add those previous Debian-specific patches.

So, in theory, If I "apt source PACKAGE" or "git clone PACKAGE", I'll get the same base source code, except that as part of the "apt source PACKAGE" route, the Debian-specific patches are applied on-the-fly, during the download/install, so that when I, the end user, look at the two sources, the sources may be different. If the "apt source PACKAGE" method did not apply the patches on-the-fly as part of its routine, I'd see no difference between the two sources (assuming nothing had changed upstream in the meanwhile).

If I'm understanding correctly, yea!

Thanks, all!

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

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