Re: Unsupported Debian [was: Re: [New maintainer] Working for De
On Mon, Aug 09, 1999 at 10:44:24AM +0200, Rene Mayrhofer wrote:
> Nathaniel Smith wrote:
> > This is a difficult problem, because it generally requires developers to have
> > multiple boxes, because packages compiled on potato don't work on slink.
> > It will get better when you can do apt-get -b source in stable, but apt-get
> > source needs a few more features before this is really all there for this
> > sort of use (ie, an option to install after the build, to automatically
> > check some packages for updated versions, etc.). The bigger problem, though,
> > is that dpkg-buildpackage doesn't always work -- though the recent proposal
> > regarding source dependencies may help with this as well. Regardless,
> > this seems a much more useful area to work on than on trying to create a
> > new semi-stable archive that most developers can't/won't create packages for.
> I appreciate this proposal. A semi-stable distribution would not help
> Debian (it gets just too confusing). How far is apt-get usable in slink
apt-get is quite usable in slink, just not for this. apt-get source wasn't
implemented until 0.3.6 or thereabouts, and slink has 0.1.something. It
would actually be very nice if someone with a slink box felt like packaging
the newer apt-get for slink (hint hint); it's very common when, say, helping
people on irc to say "Well, that's fixed in the later version, so just do
apt-get -b sou... oops, you can't. Sorry. <lengthy description of downloading
and installing source by hand ensues>".
Since people seem to be interested, here's a semi-complete list of problems
faced with this approach:
* apt-get source isn't in slink (see above)
* we need apt-get -bic source to build, install, and clean up a source package
(aborting on error, of course)
* some way to specify packages that apt-get should check for new sources for
during the upgrade phase (or maybe some sort of apt-get source-upgrade), and
if they're found, apt-get -bic source them.
* dpkg-buildpackage (what apt-get -b source calls) doesn't always work
- source dependencies are needed
- some sources require other sources to be unpacked and present; the current
proposal for source dependencies doesn't address this. Personally, this
seems to me to be a bug in those packages more than anything else.
* packages for potato sometimes require more than a recompile for slink -- for
instance, anything with Depends: perl5 is going to break, possible for no
reason. Possible solution would be to provide distribution specific
patches which apt-get source might check for and apply if the target and
source distributions are different (this of course assumes that it will be
simple changes required, like perl5 -> perl), or a sed script or something
to check for the common errors (more complicated errors are probably not
worth working on, since you're not going to be able to get them to run on
This is very rough and just outlines some of what I see as the main problems;
feel free to point out any others. Also, I'm not necessarily saying that
apt-get is the perfect tool for everything discussed above; another special
purpose tool, maybe a wrapper around apt-get source, might be a better way to
do some of this.
Hope this helps,