On Wed, 16 Jan 2002, Max Horn wrote:
> With fink, for every package there is an .info file (and possibly a
> .patch file, too). Fink then uses the data from this .info file to
> retrieve the source tarball(s), expand them, patch them, compile
> everything, and then package it into a .deb (this is much shortened
> version of the full process). These .debs then are just like any
> other .deb, and can be installed (and "fink install <package>" does
> exactly this, by calling dpkg).
> apt-get differs in that it only knows how to download a .deb from a
> set of servers. Fink OTOH builds those from scratch. Afterwards, both
> sets of .debs (the self made ones, and the downloaded ones) can be
> used completely equally. In fact, once you have the .deb, "fink
> install" always will use that .deb instead of recreating it (unless
> you force it to via "fink rebuild").

With all due respect, Max, I believe you are mistaken about apt-get
having this defiency:

apt-get source <source-package>

Downloads the "vanilla" source tarball, a descriptive .dsc file and a
patch file -- the latter two containing much the same info as the fink's
.info file.  Does the .info have some benefit over the patch/.dsc combo,
and if so, what is it?

The only issues I can think of are:

 * "apt-get source" pulls down into the current directory by default,
   rather than a standard location, e.g. /usr/src. (but trivial to
   fix if fink is providing a layer on top apt-get)

 * local copies of source packages are not tracked the same as binary
   packages, so you could pull down a duplicate copy unnecessarily.
   (although there's /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin -- what is that?)

 * the ability to specify a site/directory for the tarball and patch
   that is different. (not sure on this -- given the format of the
   .dsc, it would an easy capability to add)

It's possible these issues have been dealt with in a more recent
version than I have installed on my Debian machines (0.5.3).

pine and qmail are both example of a Debian package that I have to do
this with, precisely because Debian won't make binary packages available
for license reasons.

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