Starting point

We have a delta with Debian. Some of it is legit, some of it should be upstream'ed somehow. It's hard, both for us and for others (Debian contributors, other derivatives) to make the difference, and to identify areas that need work.

Back in May, 2014, we have explained what our current delta was.

Existing data

Scripts that generated this data:


  1. Enable anyone to easily find potential action items; that is: make it easy to filter what should be ignored ("legit" delta) and what should be improved.

  2. Visualize the evolution of a given derivative's delta with Debian
    => detect if the situation is improving or getting out of control
    => derivatives developers can be happy and proud, or react promptly; Debian contributors can evaluate how a given derivative is "nice" to Debian.


1. Have explanations about the delta in each case

Ideally, for 3.0 (quilt) packages, compare-source-package-list could look into debian/patches for derivatives-specific patches, and retrieve information from DEP-3 headers.

For other kinds of packages, it seems that the metadata would need to be added to some fine in the debian/ directory, possibly using the DEP-3 format. This also would be useful to document the delta of 3.0 (quilt) packages that is not expressed in debian/patches, e.g. shipping a newer upstream version than Debian.

Paul Wise wants to "add that to the new tracker.d.o interface and associate it with the person who logged in, since what people want to see might be different".

2. Generate graphs displaying the evolution of a derivative's delta

This requires adding date/time information to at least sources.{new,patches}, and having some code that generates graphs out of it. Presumably, once specified properly, this could be a great task for someone learning programming.

Next steps

Misc. ideas

One of the design goals of the new distro-tracker (the thing behind < is to help "derivatives that want to use it track/manage their divergence with Debian", as Raphaël Hertzog put it.