may be something like 3.0 (git-annex) source format?

Joey Hess joey at
Tue Jan 24 20:46:38 CET 2012

Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:
> I just thought to check with you on either the idea itself sounds any
> reasonable...
> in the frame of NeuroDebian we package "data" packages which are usually
> quite large in size... there were numerous previous discussions on
> viable ways to gain some convenience/size tradeoff, e.g. how to not
> duplicate 1GB of data in .orig and .deb files.  But now that you
> equipped us with git-annex , it might be time to research for new ways?
> just a blunt idea -- what if 3.0 (git) format (with which I haven't
> played before either) gets extended to provide git-annex'ed .git with
> references to publicly (and local for buildds) available annex-ed
> remotes and original urls (added via git annex addurl).  Then by
> dropping of all load from .git  within .orig we achieve small
> size, while providing ways to fetch the original load either from urls,
> or git-annex-ed remotes.
> Does it sound any sensible?

I hope that git-annex may be useful to teams working on large data in a
VCS. I have only heard from a few projects doing this so far.

But, as a Debian source package goes, it's not sufficient for git-annex
to know a remote or a url that has the data. That wouldn't help if using
this source package on a desert island.

Now, maybe git-annex could be taught to use apt as a special remote, so
it could know that a given file in the source package can be obtained
by getting the corresponding binary package with apt and extracting the
file from it. While somewhat weird and recursive, there's no technical
reason that couldn't work. 

Whether the ftpmasters would accept such a source package, that instead
of some of the sources, contains essentially a note pointing at the
actual data in the binary package next to it; I don't know.

see shy jo
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