Diverting from upstream

Mark Rosenstand mark at borkware.net
Fri Sep 8 09:53:23 UTC 2006

On Fri, 2006-09-08 at 11:27 +0200, Tilman Sauerbeck wrote:
> Mark Rosenstand [2006-09-08 10:44]:
> Hi,
> > One of my personal likings of CRUX is that it's easy to customize and
> > extend. Because it (used to?) keep as close to upstream as possible,
> > there tend to be fewer distribution-specific bugs.
> We _still_ do. But it's probably related to the fact that we don't read
> all of the code of the software we're packaging and that we don't fix
> any and all bug (-> Debian ;D).

Totally fair, and that's also why I argue that keeping close to (if not
verbatim) upstream is the best bet for a project the size of CRUX.

Personally I've had great success getting things such as DESTDIR fixes
included upstream, making it a joy to maintain packages in the long run.

Unfortunately I've had to fork some opt packages lately. For example, I
depend largely on GTK+ (GNOME desktop) so I just don't dare to patch it
for something I have no clue what does

> > I've been using/packaging the dchroot utility from Debian for a while.
> > It's a small setuid utility to allow regular users to chroot into a
> > specified list of directories. Because the path of 'su' is hardcoded
> > to /bin/su and CRUX keeps su in /usr/bin/su, I've only used it for
> > Debian chroots (running on CRUX) so far. Now, the other day I accidently
> > looked at the shadow Pkgfile, and to my surprise su is actually
> > installed in /bin and then moved manually to /usr/bin.
> Per probably had a good reason to do this... Would be okay by me to undo
> that change though.

Looking forward, it'd be nice if packagers would comment why they do
such things in the Pkgfiles (unless it's obvious, say "mv
$PKG/usr/share/man $PKG/usr/man")

I think that recently there have been a growing number of patches in
core and opt - are upstreams just getting insane? I get the feeling that
the heavy patching is also the primary reason we're stucked with years
old versions of things such as grub.

I recently made an attempt to make udev less distro-specific (and hence
more maintainable) but it seems that by now (6 revisions later) things
are pretty much back to the pain it was before.

> > To avoid these kinds of distribution-specific problems, I'm kindly
> > asking packagers to think twice before deciding to divert from upstream
> > - perhaps even limiting it to "required for essential functioning of the
> > package" and basic CRUX integration (no nls, man-pages in /usr/man,
> > etc.) :)
> Uh uh, I actually thought twice before doing that Openbox commit.
> I even contact upstream, ziomg! ;)

Ah, true, you said that. I shouldn't have used that as an example, it
was rather a case of "shit happens" :)

The autoconf 2.60 mandir patch was probably a better example.

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