[Distutils] [Python Language Summit] Distutils / Packaging survey

zooko zooko at zooko.com
Sat Jan 31 16:44:05 CET 2009

Thanks for the information, Josselin:

On Jan 29, 2009, at 7:10 AM, Josselin Mouette wrote:

> Le mercredi 28 janvier 2009 à 07:44 -0700, zooko a écrit :
>> 3.  It would be okay for this process to be automated (or semi- 
>> automated), but there's some flaw in the design of stdeb which  
>> means it will never be able to do it right unless stdeb is  
>> rewritten with a new design.
> This is the one. BTW, I don’t consider this a flaw in stdeb, it’s  
> just that stdeb was not designed with the goal to produce packages  
> suitable for Debian itself.
> What we need is the equivalent of dh_make_perl [0]. That is, a  
> script that will generate the debian/ structure in a semi-automated  
> fashion, leading to a package ready to be installed after minor  
> tweaks and a human’s review. Bonus points would go for providing a  
> script suggesting changes in the description and/or dependencies  
> when updating the package for a new upstream release.

A-ha!  I think I understand the disagreement now!  It hinges on the  
subtle distinction between "manual", "automated", and "semi-automated".

Unless I'm misunderstanding something (which is quite possible),  
stdeb already does exactly what you just suggested.  It produces a  
debian/ subdirectory and a .dsc file, which you can them feed into  
"dpkg-buildpackage" to produce a .deb.  You can, of course, inspect  
and modify those files after stdeb produced then and before dpkg- 
buildpackage consumes them.


Perhaps there is some confusion on this point because I like to  
*talk* about stdeb as though it sucks in Python source trees and  
spits out .deb's.  That's how I like to use it -- I try not to look  
at or change the .dsc or debian/ files.  However, there's no  
fundamental reason that I am aware of that it couldn't be used by a  
real Debian developer to ease his task of producing completely Policy- 
Compliant, high-quality Debian packages.

Apparently the Perl and Haskell Debian developers have already  
started using semi-automation this way to maintain large numbers of  
Policy-Compliant Perl and Haskell .deb's produced from Perl and  
Haskell source trees.

If you, or anyone, tries this, please post to this list and also Cc:  
me (the list is just too high-volume for me to keep up :-() and I'll  
try to help.


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