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libc strategy

Quoting Will Yardley <william@hq.newdream.net>:

> i'm new to the list

Me too.  Hi there!  :)

> on another note, do people think that there's enough resources
> (person-wise) to support developing an entirely new set of packages?  it
> seems that some method of converting ports to a debianized format
> compatible with apt would be nice.... debian is already fairly cautious
> / slow with releasing new stuff, and it seems that it would be difficult
> to keep up with (presumably) considerately less people involved.
> since the ports use standard makefiles, and the patches are included,
> would it be hard to use these to build the packages? (i'm sure this may
> have been discussed before, so i apologize if that's the case).  

I'm not sure if it would be very easy to do, but I don't think it
matters much.  What we need to do is make standard Debian packages
compile under Debian/BSD, same as all the other Debian ports do --
if this is to be a true Debian port, we'll need to be able to take
a standard Debian source package and have it compile under debian-bsd
as easily as it compiles under debian-sparc or whatever.  We don't
want to make whole new packages, nor do we want to use *BSD pkg stuff.
We want to do it "The Debian Way(tm)".

Mostly what's been discussed in order to make this feasible is to
either (a) port glibc to BSD, or (b) patch existing packages to work
with BSD libc.  But apparently porting glibc to BSD would be a major
pain, and patching every existing package that doesn't work with
glibc would also be a major pain.  I'm wondering if a third option
isn't possible: (c) create a new library that runs on top of BSD libc
that simply takes glibc calls that aren't in BSD libc and provides
them, or functions that operate differently would be "wrapped" by our
glibc compatible version.  It seems to me this would be easier than
either (a) or (b).  It would give us glibc compatibility for the
GNU tools while still allowing native BSD stuff to work fine (and I'm
a big fan of the idea of providing a /usr/ucb folder (or whatever we
want to call it), but then I'm an old Solaris user).  Is there a list
somewhere of what the differences are between BSD libc and glibc, or
is this one of those lists we'd end up compiling ourselves in the
process of attempting to make this work?

GT <gt@dreamsmith.org>                       http://www.dreamsmith.org
"We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a
journey that no one else can take for us or spare us." - Marcel Proust

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