Crossing debtags and popcon

Justin B Rye jbr at
Fri Feb 2 23:12:44 CET 2007

Enrico Zini wrote:
> Justin B Rye wrote:
>> If your /etc/apt/sources.list specifies "etch" and
>> your /etc/debtags/sources.list points at the alioth tag-archive, you
>> are currently capable of making useful contributions; but after the
>> release, you're going to start seeing inapplicable tags (eg: Etch's
>> foo-media-player being role::dummy, Lenny/Sid's being role::program
>> works-with-format::mp4) and you may even end up misguidedly
>> contributing "corrections".  Is there any plan to set up separate
>> tag (and vocabulary?) archives?
> In fact yes: if you leave your sources.list to the default "tags
> apt://", then the tags will be taken from the Packages file, which
> should contain tags that have been frozen at the time of the release.

If so, sure, but that wasn't the situation I described.

It seemed to me when I dist-upgraded my desktop just a couple of
months ago that I was more or less forced to change that default,
since there were considerably fewer tags in the Packages file than
there had been in my old /var/cache/debtags file.  Remember, from
the viewpoint of current Etch users, the online databases provide
gradually improving coverage of the distribution, while the Packages
file is essentially frozen; what is there to warn them that after
the release they'll need to give up using alioth?  It wouldn't hurt
to have a comment somewhere in the docs/configs along the lines of:

# If you plan to use Stable, please be aware that online tag
# databases are more likely to track Testing/Unstable; so be careful
# about downloading tags from them, and please do not contribute
# tags back upstream without checking they're still accurate for
# current package versions.

(It shouldn't be too hard for debtags to be user-friendly about
handling this kind of thing for itself; probably all you'd need to
do is add some sort of release-number stamp on tag-archives,
supplementing the "DEBTAGS DIFF V0.1" header on patch-submissions,
and warn of mismatches.)
Ankh kak! (Ancient Egyptian blessing)

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