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Introducing dpkg source format for git repositories

Filed under
Development
Debian

There is a large disagreement inside Debian on how a git repository used for Debian packages should look like. You just have to read debian-devel to get too much of it.

Some people prefer that the content of the repository looks like a "modern" (3.0) source package the Debian archive accepts. This means it includes upstream source and stuff in debian/patches that need to get applied first to have something usable. But by definition this concept is incompatible with a normal git workflow; e.g. you can't use cherry-pick of upstream patches, but need to convert it into a patch file either by hand or with another tool. It also can't use upstream test definitions using a CI without adopting it and patching source first.

Other people prefer to have a complete patched source available always. This allows for use of cherry-pick and all the other git concepts available. But due to the way our "modern" (3.0) source formats are definied, it is impossible to use those together. So everyone wanting to use this can only use ancient 1.0 source packages, which lack a lot of features like modern compression formats.

Some do stuff that is much more weird. Weird things like git-dpm, which is also incompatible with merges. But we can't save everyone.

I started working on bridging the gap between a proper git repository and modern Debian source package by building a source package from some special target in debian/rules. But people maybe rightfully complained that not be able to use dpkg-source got a big downside and needs a lot of documentation. To get this into proper shape, I'd like to introduce a new dpkg source format.

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