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Re: Debian Specialities (fwd)


	In this case, I don't think we should ``get in line'' with
 other distributions, since the current Debian practice is an

	The dosemu maintainer has to add /usr/src/linux/include to the
 CFLAGS while compiling dosemu, and make sure that a
 kernel-{header,source}-X.XX package is installed.  The rest of us
 (99.99% of the installation) then does not have to bother with
 anythng but lib*-dev.

	A more detailed defence of out practice follows.

-------------------------------README for kernel-headers-X.XX-------------
 This package contains the Linux kernel header files (also contained
 in libc5-dev packages). 

        The headers were included in libc5-dev after a rash of very
 buggy alpha kernel releases (1.3.7* or something like that) that
 proceeded to break compilations, etc.  Kernel versions are changed
 far more rapidly than libc is, and there are higer chances that
 people install a custom kernel than they install custom libc.

        Add to that the fact that few programs really need the more
 volatile elements of the header files (that is, things that really
 change from kernel version to kernel version), [before you reject
 this, consider: programs compiled on one kernel version usually work
 on other kernels].

        So, it makes sense that a set of headers be provided from a
 known good kernel version, and that is sufficient for compiling most
 programs, (it also makes the compile time environments for programs
 on debian machines a well known one, easing the process of dealing
 with problem reports), the few programs that really depend on cutting
 edge kernel data structures may just use -I/usr/src/linux/include
 (provided that kernel-headers or kernel-source exists on the system).

        Most programs, even if they include <linux/something.h>, do
 not really depend on the version of the kernel, as long as the kernel
 versions are not too far off, they will work. And the headers
 provided in libc5-dev are just that. 

        libc5-deb is uploaded frequently enough that it never lags too
 far behind the latest released kernel.

        There are two different capabilities which are the issue, and
 the kernel-packages and libc5-dev address different ones:

 a) The kernel packages try to provide a stable, well behaved kernel
    and modules, and may be upgraded whenever there are significant
    advances in those directions (bug fixes, more/better module
    support, etc).  These, however, may not have include files that
    are non-broken as far as non-kernel programs are concerned, and
    the quality of the development/compilation environment is not the
    kernel packages priority (Also, please note that the kernel
    packages are tied together, so kernel-source, headers, and image
    are produced in sync)

 b) Quality of the development/compilation environment is the priority
    of libc5-dev package, and it tries to ensure that the headers it
    provides would be stable and not break non-kernel programs. This
    assertion may fail for alpha kernels, which may otherwise be
    perfectly stable, hence the need for a different set of known-good
    kernel include files.

 "Interesting survey in the current Journal of Abnormal Psychology:
 New York City has a higher percentage of people you shouldn't make
 any sudden moves around than any other city in the world." David
Manoj Srivastava               <url:mailto:srivasta@datasync.com>
Mobile, Alabama USA            <url:http://www.datasync.com/%7Esrivasta/>

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