Re: Bug#552052: lintian: add perl-modules to list of obsolete packages
reassign 552052 perl-modules
retitle 552052 clarify perl-modules status
On Fri, Dec 25, 2009 at 12:57:44PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Ryan Niebur <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> > Here's the explanation for why:
> > http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-perl-maintainers/2009-October/026578.html
> Before I do this, can I get confirmation that this is still the intention?
> This was several months ago and I'm not sure if the plans have changed
> since. There isn't any indication in the long description of perl-modules
> that the package is going away or that other packages shouldn't depend on
I think it's too early to change lintian, let's make things clear in
perl-modules first. I'm taking the liberty of reassigning the bug,
hope that's OK with everybody.
In fact, based on Don's concerns and the discussion on debian-devel 
it looks like we're going to back away from the perl+perl-modules merge.
Moving all the arch-indep data into an arch-dep package is a regression,
not an improvement, and I don't feel the gains are big enough to tip
the scales. We've been doing OK with the circular dependency for nine
years or so after all and the only actual problem I'm aware of is the
However, I think there is a point in discouraging direct dependencies
on perl-modules. The current perl/perl-modules split is not based on
any functionality differences, just the implementation (effectively XS
vs. pure Perl.) If a module happens to get reimplemented, it needs to be
moved between the packages, but I don't think its reverse dependencies
should need to be notified.
Therefore I think that the perl/perl-modules split should be considered
an internal implementation detail of the perl source package, and other
packages should only depend on perl (or some specified versions of
perl-base, in exceptional circumstances.)
The first steps to this would be just a change to the perl-modules
long description and a lintian warning triggering on the 150 or so
packages currently (build-)depending on perl-modules. Obviously,
some other places like the lintian recommendation in
`versioned-dependency-satisfied-by-perl'  need to be changed, but I
don't think there's too many of those.
I think this should eventually also minimize any problems caused by
the circular dependency (if nobody but perl depends on perl-modules,
it should be really easy to break the loop), but it's possible that I
just don't understand them fully and somebody should enlighten me.
Changing 150 packages won't happen overnight but there's no particular
hurry with it and I think the remaining dependencies could be filed
at some point as minor bugs.
This is still not set in stone, and I'd welcome any input.
Happy new year everybody,
Niko Tyni email@example.com