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Bits from Perl maintainers

[resending to debian-devel-announce as suggested by fellow developers;
 apologies to those who already received this via other lists.]

There's a Perl transition (#796345) expected in the next couple of
months: Perl 5.22 packages have been in experimental since June, and
the list of blockers is getting lower. The worst blocker is currently
libapache2-mod-perl2, which needs upstream porting (#787493). See
for a list of bugs related to this transition.

This mail provides advanced warning about some changes in the perl
packaging for 5.22. In the vast majority of cases, no action is needed, so
this is mainly for information. However, should you have strong objections
to these changes for some reason, please voice them now if possible.

The binary packages built from src:perl version 5.22 in experimental
have been reorganized to allow for keeping older versions of libperl5.xx
installable, and to allow for marking them Multi-Arch:same so that they
can be co-installed for multiple architectures.

As src:perl already builds (possibly too) many packages, we tried not to
increase their number (and the associated complexity) further. Therefore
we have integrated the non-essential parts of the standard library
shipped with Perl into the libperl5.xx package instead of creating a
new package like perl-stdlib-5.xx. Packages using Perl modules from
the standard library should still depend on just 'perl', which pulls in
everything necessary.

We have kept perl-base self contained for robustness, as it's
Essential:yes.  As an implementation detail, we now ship two copies of the
small parts of the standard library that are considered Essential:yes:
one copy in the perl-base package and another in libperl5.xx. This
increases disk space usage by about 3M for non-minimal systems (with
perl/libperl5.xx installed), and is done to accommodate foreign
architecture libperl5.xx installations.

We have also renamed perl-modules to perl-modules-5.xx so that multiple
versions of it can be co-installable. The perl-modules-5.22 package
currently Provides:perl-modules for transitional reasons.

As a side effect, installing libperl5.xx now installs the full Perl
standard library (about 32M). It is therefore no longer possible to
install an application with an embedded Perl interpreter but stick with
just the perl-base parts of the library. We think this is acceptable
and even desirable: a Perl interpreter without the standard library is
a crippled one and should only be sighted in exceptional circumstances.

This split was discussed in the Perl team sprint in Barcelona, May 2015.
See <https://people.debian.org/~ntyni/perl/libperl/> for some background
material visualizing the options; the chosen option is "S" in the slides.
Niko Tyni   ntyni@debian.org

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