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Re: Upgrade procedure for tetex

>>>>> "Chris" == Chris Fearnley <cjf@netaxs.com> writes:

Chris> I wouldn't pretend to know what *most* people want.  But I want
Chris> an easily upgradeable system.

Really?  So you want a system that is easily upgradeable but do not
mind if it works or not?  I have seen _a lot_ of complaints about the
old Debian TeX systems (myself being one of them).  _Installation_
problems included (which means that to say the old debian tex is
easily upgradeable is bogus).

Chris> The tetex packaging is totally unacceptable (I finally looked
Chris> at it).  There are several principles the developer overlooked.
Chris> The big problem is that Conflicts and Replaces are used
Chris> incorrectly.  I don't have time to think this through carefully
Chris> but here are some basic suggestions to get the package working:

I believe the original intention was that since teTeX is a well
designed and _complete_ (La)TeX installation for Unix platforms and is
quickly becoming the de facto standard, we should completely replace
the old Debian TeX with teTeX, ie tetex should Conflict every single
old Deban TeX package except the obvious packages that are not in
tetex, eg untex.  Mixing tetex with packages/files that mess with the
tetex internal is not a good idea IMHO.

Chris> That should fix those two.  Though there will still be
Chris> problems.  Gettting the dependencies and replaces and provides
Chris> right is imperative yet difficult.  One thing I didn't check is
Chris> if it's possible to break old packages (like bibtool which
Chris> depends on bibtex which is replaced completely by the new
Chris> tetex.  And will any of the detritus from incompletely replaced
Chris> packages cause problems.

That's why we need testers.  We are not saying that the teTeX packages
do not need testing.  But we should aim to put teTeX into 1.3.

Chris> My strategy was: if package is depended on my many packages, be
Chris> conservative and don't conflict with said package (merely
Chris> replace and provide).  if package is partially replaced by
Chris> tetex-base, save the conflicts and provides lines for
Chris> tetex-bin.

See above.

Chris> I skipped several provides some of which /may/ be necessary.
Chris> If the package isn't depended upon by anything in Available,
Chris> then it doesn't need to have provides.  Everything else
Chris> absolutely needs to have provides (this is the biggest bug with
Chris> the current packaging).

Can you list the packages which are outside of the tex section and
which Depend on some old Debian TeX packages?

Rather than to provide some old Debian TeX packages in the current
tetex packages, I think we should make these packages depend on the
appropriate tetex package.

Chris> Finally, I dislike the "non-conceptual" names of the packages.
Chris> Why can't tetex-base and tetex-bin be merged into one package?
Chris> When would I need to install tetex-dev?  Etc,

Of course they can be merged.  But there are other considerations.  To
have separate tetex-base and tetex-bin is to keep the size of packages
manageable.  Users wouldn't appreciate having to download a 3MB .deb
file when, say, only one line in the rule file is changed.  After all,
can you tell me why we had so many little packages in the old Debian
TeX?  mflib, texlib, texbin, mfnfss, ...  Did you complaint about it?

As for tetex-dev, the name is consistent with the debian practice, ie
it is for development.  

Chris> I now believe the problem is solvable.  The problem with the
Chris> packages is less a problem with dpkg than with the tetex
Chris> maintainer trying to make dpkg into something it isn't.

tetex packages are merely asking dpkg to do  multiple conflicts and
replaces.  This sounds reasonable to me.  And dpkg failed.  

Chris> But it's going to take a lot of work to fix.  I still think
Chris> it's prudent to hold off until the next release.

All your suggestions are not serious problems and the only real
problem is having to completely remove the old Debian TeX before
installing tetex.  there are already some good suggestions.

I really like to see tetex in 1.3.

Chris> Brutal experience has taught that major changes to packages
Chris> need time to sort out.  And we don't have enough time before
Chris> the next release (at least I don't have enough time to debug
Chris> several failed installations).

If you don't have time to debug, please help by writing problem
reports to the list.  The tetex maintainer and coworker will look into
these problems.

teTeX itself is a mature system and serve the needs of many people
well.  So the problems mostly come from the packaging.

Billy C.-M. Chow <cmchow@se.cuhk.edu.hk>
Department of Systems Engineering       
The Chinese University of Hong Kong    

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