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Old 09-09-2008, 12:53 PM
"Eugene V. Lyubimkin"
 
Default Proposal: user-visible list of divergences from upstream

Ben Finney wrote:
> "Eugene V. Lyubimkin" <jackyf.devel+AEA-gmail.com> writes:
[snip]
>>>> But how can users know about this changes in Debian packages?
>>> By the existing README.Debian and NEWS.Debian conventions (for
>>> persistent and version-sensitive changes, respectively).
>>>
>> Have non-Debian users access to this files?
>
> Sure. One doesn't need to use Debian to get a Debian source package +IBQ-
> or even a Debian binary package. Both types contain these files.

>> Have Debian users access to these files when packages are not
>> installed on system?
>
> Only by getting the package and unpacking it (as I'm sure you know,
> the package can be unpacked and inspected without installing it).
Both these methods require:
1) knowledge about where to look for Debian changes (Debian users should
know about README.Debian, but non-Debian?)
2) downloading some stuff

Ok for geeks and developers, but too expensive for others, imho.

> Are you proposing that, in addition to the changelog and the
> README.Debian and the NEWS.Debian and the package control files, that
> there should be +ACo-yet another+ACo- place where the package maintainer is
> expected to duplicate information on what they've done to the package?
README.Debian contains notes about important changes that made in
Debian's variant of package for a long time of package' lifecycle.
NEWS.Debian is especially good for upgrading. Changelog is for
developers and geek users as it contains developer stuff. Patches is
almost purely developer stuff. In my view, all these files do not cover
"actual user-oriented important divergences from upstream". Only in my
view. I understand that this proposed info will interfere with above
mentioned one in Debian documentation files and will require some
additional time to maintain.

--
Eugene V. Lyubimkin aka JackYF
 
Old 09-09-2008, 01:18 PM
Ben Finney
 
Default Proposal: user-visible list of divergences from upstream

"Eugene V. Lyubimkin" <jackyf.devel@gmail.com> writes:

> Ben Finney wrote:
> > Are you proposing that, in addition to the changelog and the
> > README.Debian and the NEWS.Debian and the package control files,
> > that there should be *yet another* place where the package
> > maintainer is expected to duplicate information on what they've
> > done to the package?

> README.Debian contains notes about important changes that made in
> Debian's variant of package for a long time of package' lifecycle.
> NEWS.Debian is especially good for upgrading. Changelog is for
> developers and geek users as it contains developer stuff. Patches is
> almost purely developer stuff. In my view, all these files do not
> cover "actual user-oriented important divergences from upstream".
> Only in my view.

Thanks for expressing this view.

> I understand that this proposed info will interfere with above
> mentioned one in Debian documentation files and will require some
> additional time to maintain.

To be clear: The time to maintain extra repositories of information is
only one issue, and a relatively simple one to overcome.

The greater issue is that such duplication of information invariably
leads to multiple repositories with conflicting information. That
situation is arguably *worse* for the person seeking knowledge than if
the information were never recorded.

The information about Debian-specific packaging changes already has
numerous places to store that information. Any increase in the
disparate information repositories needs to be demonstrated more
valuable, not only than the extra time needed for maintaining them,
but also than the *negative* value to everyone when those repositories
conflict in what information they contain.

--
Lucifer: “Just sign the Contract, sir, and the Piano is yours.” |
` Ray: “Sheesh! This is long! Mind if I sign it now and read it |
_o__) later?” —http://www.achewood.com/ |
Ben Finney


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Old 09-09-2008, 01:19 PM
Reinhard Tartler
 
Default Proposal: user-visible list of divergences from upstream

"Eugene V. Lyubimkin" <jackyf.devel@gmail.com> writes:

> (suppose) I'm a system administrator. I have received new production
> mail server. My only choice is a stable well-maintained distribution.
> Last release for RedHat contains exim 1.5.19, and Debian version is
> 1.5.18. I know about recently found security bug in 1.5.18. What
> distribution I will choose without official acknowledge that Debian's
> source for 1.5.18 already have a backported fix for bug?

Okay, so now we're coming closer to the (your?) problem: you want
official sanctioning/listing of patches added to a package. This is
something that we (as in Debian Package Maintainer's) currently don't.

What kind of "official acknowledgements" would suit your needs? I assume
you don't want an DSA-like announcement of every patch included in a
package. Following your arguments reading changelog seems to be to much
effort for you as well. You seem to demand that maintainers spend extra
time in deciding what patches should be "officially acknowledged" in the
package so that system administrators can compare packages across
distributions?

I don't think that proposal would suit here well. A system administrator
is unlikely to download/install a debian package just to find out what
(possibly documented or undocumented) patches it contains. More likely
they will want to look at some website aggregating that information. And
here patch-tracking.debian.net comes pretty close, I think.

--
Gruesse/greetings,
Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4


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Old 09-09-2008, 06:31 PM
Andrei Popescu
 
Default Proposal: user-visible list of divergences from upstream

On Tue,09.Sep.08, 15:53:16, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:

[...]

> README.Debian contains notes about important changes that made in
> Debian's variant of package for a long time of package' lifecycle.
> NEWS.Debian is especially good for upgrading. Changelog is for
> developers and geek users as it contains developer stuff. Patches is
> almost purely developer stuff. In my view, all these files do not cover
> "actual user-oriented important divergences from upstream". Only in my
> view. I understand that this proposed info will interfere with above
> mentioned one in Debian documentation files and will require some
> additional time to maintain.

I think having README.Debian and NEWS.Debian easily accessible on
packages.d.o would be a progress.

Regards,
Andrei
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
(Albert Einstein)
 
Old 09-09-2008, 07:01 PM
"Eugene V. Lyubimkin"
 
Default Proposal: user-visible list of divergences from upstream

Andrei Popescu wrote:
> On Tue,09.Sep.08, 15:53:16, Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
>
> [...]
>
>> README.Debian contains notes about important changes that made in
>> Debian's variant of package for a long time of package' lifecycle.
>> NEWS.Debian is especially good for upgrading. Changelog is for
>> developers and geek users as it contains developer stuff. Patches is
>> almost purely developer stuff. In my view, all these files do not cover
>> "actual user-oriented important divergences from upstream". Only in my
>> view. I understand that this proposed info will interfere with above
>> mentioned one in Debian documentation files and will require some
>> additional time to maintain.
>
> I think having README.Debian and NEWS.Debian easily accessible on
> packages.d.o would be a progress.
Not sure about NEWS.Debian, but for README.Debian I think so too.

--
Eugene V. Lyubimkin aka JackYF, Ukrainian C++ developer.
 
Old 09-09-2008, 07:59 PM
George Danchev
 
Default Proposal: user-visible list of divergences from upstream

On Tuesday 09 September 2008 14:53:16 Eugene V. Lyubimkin wrote:
> Ben Finney wrote:
[snip]
> > Only by getting the package and unpacking it (as I'm sure you know,
> > the package can be unpacked and inspected without installing it).
>
> Both these methods require:
> 1) knowledge about where to look for Debian changes (Debian users should
> know about README.Debian, but non-Debian?)
> 2) downloading some stuff
>
> Ok for geeks and developers, but too expensive for others, imho.

I failed to see how adding an extra file you are suggesting
(debian/divergences or whatever) could be better than already exising ones
like README.[Debian|source] - it is basically in the same boat with regard to
above mentioned requirements. OTOH, it is more reasonable to maintain well
documented patches using their headings (note, the single place to change),
which could then be extracted and revealed by patch-tracking.debian.net or
whereever. I doubt there is anything more direct and easier for regular
users, since they would read exactly what has been documented in the relevant
patch created by the developer, and would need only a www browser or text
editor, where the developer would has a single place to worry about.

> > Are you proposing that, in addition to the changelog and the
> > README.Debian and the NEWS.Debian and the package control files, that
> > there should be *yet another* place where the package maintainer is
> > expected to duplicate information on what they've done to the package?
>
> README.Debian contains notes about important changes that made in
> Debian's variant of package for a long time of package' lifecycle.
> NEWS.Debian is especially good for upgrading. Changelog is for
> developers and geek users as it contains developer stuff. Patches is
> almost purely developer stuff. In my view, all these files do not cover
> "actual user-oriented important divergences from upstream". Only in my
> view. I understand that this proposed info will interfere with above
> mentioned one in Debian documentation files and will require some
> additional time to maintain.

I believe that such data duplication would surely lead to discrepancies at
some point, which would add even more confision to the reader.

--
pub 4096R/0E4BD0AB 2003-03-18 <people.fccf.net/danchev/key pgp.mit.edu>


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