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Re: #38544: Gettext solution (Was: Re: gettext packages)

On Wed, 2 Jun 1999, Julian Gilbey wrote:

> > Why don't you report "this package should be splitted because it is
> > too large and contains things which are not normally useful" as a bug
> > against libc6-dev?
> Because libc6-dev is a development package anyway, and is named as
> such. No desire to compile => no need for libc6-dev; desire to
> compile => need for libc6-dev.

I think you have a very simplistic view of what a Debian package *may* be.
"A package should be either 100% a development package or else 0%".
I don't think this has to be the case.

I would say "Desire to use (directly or indirectly) any of the tools in
the gettext package -> need gettext. No desire to use (directly or
indirectly) any of the tools in the gettext package -> no need gettext.

> Further, Joe User downloads some
> package which he wants to use and it requires compilation.  Just so
> happens that the authors of the package have decided for one reason or
> another to make the binary statically linked.  ("Installation
> instructions: type ./configure; make") How should Joe User understand
> why only having libc6-headers or whatever it would be called and not
> libc6-static makes his compilation fail?

Let's follow Joe User's example:

Suppose gettext is splitted into gettext and gettext-dev ("gettext-dev"
because you insist that a development package needs to be named whatever-dev).

Joe User wants to compile and install a package whose README file says
"you need gettext to compile this package".

Joe User would then complain "Ok, I have the gettext package installed,
but it still does not work. Why?".

[ What should I answer to him if Joe User asks me about this?
  "Because Julian Gilbey thought it was a bug not to split it"? ].

> So I'm actually less
> inclined to ask for libc6-dev to be split than I was yesterday.

Well, I guess it is perfectly possible that there are actually more
packages needing gettext for compilation than packages needing the static
libraries in libc6-dev.

Does this mean libc6-dev contains part that should not be of standard
priority? Do I advocate for the splitting of libc6-dev? Not at all. What I
mean is that if you advocate for the splitting of gettext because of
"space concerns", you should probably advocate for the splitting of many
other packages before this one. I'm just asking you a little of

> Of
> course, if you don't want to do any compiling, you can just get rid of
> the libc6-dev package.  The only packages which depend upon or
> recommend libc6-dev are development packages themselves, and
> pine-diffs.  (At least in slink, that is, haven't checked out potato.)
> On the other hand, gettext is not the same.  There is a very clear
> distinction between the user's part (/usr/bin/gettext) and the
> developer's part (/usr/share/gettext/* and its accompanying
> documentation).

The user part is not limited to the /usr/bin/gettext binary (those 17k you
like to mention so much). A binary within a Debian package needs a
manpage, a copyright file, two changelog files, info documentation, and
(in the case the binary has been internationalized, all the message
catalogs for it). Sorry but this is much more than 17k and will not help
to reduce the size of the package in a significant way.

I'm worried about the fact that you have intentions to split the message
catalogs for the gettext package in two.

This does not makes things better. Do you want the /usr/bin/gettext to
remain undocumented in the base system or do you plan to split the manual
in two too? None of this seems reasonable to me.


 "e5a470c490fcf31a3e18220ba8f8118b" (a truly random sig)

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