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Re: allowing coexistence for -dev packages

On Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 01:10:37PM +0100, Ludovic Brenta wrote:
> Nicolas Boulenguez writes:

> > the scenario "coexistence allowed" for library foo is the same than
> > the scenario "coexistence not allowed" for library foo4, except that:
> > - the dev package is named libfoo4-dev, not libfoo4-V-dev
> > - the lib package is named libfoo4, not libfoo4-N
> > - there is neither soversion nor aliversion for foo4.
> >   (if anything changes, a new library named foo5 is born)
> >
> > Why not drop the "coexistence allowed" scenario, and consider that
> > gtkada2, gtkada3, gnat4.6 and gnat4.8 are distinct library names, each
> > one of them following the "coexistence not allowed" scenario?

> I think you are correct but it is also important to guide package
> maintainers in deciding how they should support multiple versions of a
> library simultaneously.  The "coexistence allowed" policy makes this
> explicit rather than implicit as in "just create two libraries with no
> coexistence allowed".

I agree that the policy should go on describing extensively how to
release coinstallable versions of a library. Thought and
experimentation have selected many tricky items worth mentioning.

When starting to package a library (or dealing with an existing
package), it is not easy to gather the information and decide wether
versions should (or are intended to) be coinstallable. Worst, many
unrelated paragraphs are more complex than necessary because of the

For ideal consistency, all consequences of coinstallability should be
listed in a single specific section, and only there. This is inspired
by one of the first paragraphs in section 5.3: "Rule: If the package
maintainer chooses the Coexistence allowed policy, for purposes of all
the following rules in this section, the term LIBRARY SHALL include
the same version number as the name of the -dev package.".

With this in mind, my suggestion is to start the section with "just
create two separate source packages" and make it much shorter.

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