[Flac-dev] Re: Inclusion of debian packaging info

Matt Zimmerman mdz at debian.org
Fri Jun 15 13:31:14 PDT 2001

On Fri, Jun 15, 2001 at 02:42:53PM -0400, Caleb Epstein wrote:

> 	Sorry, I'm just coming in in the middle of this, but I second
> 	any motion to include a debian/ dirextory directory in the
> 	flac sources.
> 	In general the build scripts and control files in a debian/
> 	directory are pretty static and don't change from version to
> 	version, with the exception of the changelog.  To include them
> 	in an application's source generally involves very little
> 	overhead and maintenance.

Speaking from personal experience, I can say that this is often untrue.  For
example, the flac package, which has gone through 6 fast-paced upstream
releases (0.5 through 0.10), two of these (0.5 and 0.6) have involved more than
one Debian revision (0.5-2 and 0.6-2).  If the debian/ directory had been
included in CVS and released with flac, its contents would have been out of
date almost immediately.  Consider the following (very common) sequence of

1. New upstream release is made
2. Further changes are made in upstream CVS to work toward next release
3. Debian-specific changes are required (to meet policy compliance, or because
   of unforeseen integration issues with other Debian packages)

These changes could be made in upstream CVS and in the Debian diff against the
previous release, but users building Debian packages from the latest upstream
sources would get an out-of-date (and possibly very broken) Debian package.  So
truly, the only people who could make use of the upstream debian/ directory are
those who are building Debian packages from CVS.  The debian/ directory
included with official releases would always be out of date, and possibly

I am willing to consider the idea of including the debian/ directory in flac
CVS (as opposed to my personal CVS) if Josh doesn't mind some additional
tagging and branching, and the debian/ directory would be omitted from the
official releases.

There is yet another iteration of this argument happening on debian-devel as we


 - mdz

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