Splitting a binary package: what to do with general README.Debian?
I maintain cernlib. I decided to split the package libmontecarlo1, which
contains several shared libraries, into one library for each package,
since that seems to be the new trend (see the xlibs split), and also since
it was requested in bug # 212409. (This entire discussion also applies to
the analogous -dev packages, incidentally.) That is:
libmontecarlo1 --> libphtools1 + libisajet1 + libeurodec1 + etc.
Here is the problem. cernlib is in general GPL, but for historic reasons
it contains a fair amount of code that I can't redistribute because the
authors of that code refuse to license it in a DFSG way (or even to make a
clear license statement at all). So I originally put a README.Debian in
the libmontecarlo1 package explaining why those particular libraries have
been left out of the Debian package, and where to obtain them. This
seemed the best place to mention it because the missing libraries are also
Monte Carlo code.
[For those of you unfamiliar with high-energy physics, a Monte Carlo
program / library simulates a real-world phenomenon by using known
physical laws to predict the path of a large number of simulated subatomic
particles in a detector. Then if the simulated results differ
significantly from the actual experimental results, either the detector is
behaving incorrectly, or new physics exist, not explained by known laws.
The hard part is differentiating between the two possibilities. :-) ]
The question is, what to do with this README.Debian after splitting up
libmontecarlo1? There is no longer one particular package where it makes
sense to mention the missing code. I am transitioning the libmontecarlo1
package to a dummy package that depends on the libraries it formerly
contained, to simplify upgrades. For the sake of the users who wonder
where the missing libraries are, should I:
1) have the README.Debian stay with the dummy package (making it be not
completely a dummy package after all)? It seems like new users of the
split packages would tend to ignore the dummy package. Or...
2) create a new montecarlo-base package, depended upon by all cernlib
Monte Carlo library packages, that contains this README.Debian? Or...
3) include the same README.Debian in every single Monte Carlo package?
CC-ing my sponsor for Cernlib. (Hi Bas!)
Thanks for any responses,
Kevin McCarty Physics Department
email@example.com Princeton University
www.princeton.edu/~kmccarty Princeton, NJ 08544