relationship counselling for debian and rsync

Philip Hands phil at
Sat Mar 16 02:22:25 EST 2002

Martin Pool <mbp at> writes:

> I heard Debian's trying to freeze soon.  I have a few points about
> rsync's Debian package.
> I'll see what I can do to close some Debian/rsync bugs.  Fortunately
> some of the bad ones seem to be already addressed in our regular
> tarballs.
> It would be pretty cool if I could be automatically cc'd on Debian bug
> reports about rsync, if the BTS supports that.

OK, I'll see what I can do --- I'm not sure if the BTS supports it'
but if not, I'll do something procmail to achieve the same result.

> The debian/copyright file for rsync currently says
> +---------
> +
> +Rsync was written by Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras, and is
> +available under the GPL.
> +
> +Andrew.Tridgell at
> +paulus at
> +
> That text is not really representative anymore, because many other
> people have contributed code.  I am not quite sure what the etiquette
> for changing these things is.  At the moment, I'm just saying that
>   rsync was originally written by Andrew Tridgell, and has received
>   improvements and contributions from a wide community of users.
>   rsync is currently maintained by Martin Pool.
> If that's OK with you please use this text.  I will put it in the
> upstream docs sometime soon after checking with tridge.

Fine, it's in the upload I'm about to do to sort out the zlib thing.

> It would be nice to have a THANKS file, but until somebody searches
> the CVS and mail archives by hand we don't have the information.  I'm
> trying to make sure to give credit in the NEWS in future.  In the
> meantime I think it's best just to say "lots of people".
> rsync is still licensed under the GPL, or to be pedantic "the GNU
> GPL".  
> Rather than shipping cvs.log, which as you note is not up to date, I
> would suggest you just ship the NEWS and OLDNEWS files, which describe
> user-visible changes.  If people want the nasty details there's always
>  At the moment the detailed CVS logs are not published.
> I guess we could change this but I don't really see the need to bloat
> the package.  (Personally I think it counts as bloat for both the diff
> and deb.)

OK, I'll do that in a later upload.

> I don't understand the Debian test framework as well as I would like.
> You've probably seen an effort to build a test suite of our own.  If
> it makes sense, I would like for the Debian test stuff to just do
> "make installcheck" (or "make check"), and for Debian people to
> contribute patches as necessary to make the testsuite work well.  We
> need to be able to test on all kinds of platforms.  If the two don't
> merge straightaway it's OK, but it would be a good medium term goal.
> I strongly prefer to install binaries with debug symbols to aid user
> support, and this is now the default for rsync.  Is this against
> Debian policy?

Yes, or it was last time I looked anyway.  People are supposed to
rebuild the package if they want to do debugging, on the basis that
that masses won't need that, and it will simply waste space for them.

>  "make install-strip" works properly in CVS but not in
> 2.5.4; until then you might have to patch it yourself, perhaps by
> copying from CVS.
> As you know, 2.5.4 fixes the zlib bug, which potentially has security
> implications.  It has been out for a week and tested by a few people.
> I would be inclined to recommend that Debian ship it unless something
> large and unexpected happens.

Yeah, sorry I've been busy with other things.  Should be uploading the
new package in a few minutes.

> I'll file some more details against particular open bugs.

Thanks.  I've been snowed under recently, with the combination of
work, moving house and skiing holidays (yeah, literally snowed under :-)
but that should all settle down now, so more time for my Debian
work should become available.

> Let me know if there is anything I can do to help -- Debian rules ;-)

It certainly does :-)

Cheers, Phil.
Say no to software patents!

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