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Re: Feaping Creature-ism in core Debian Packages

On Wed, Sep 01, 1999 at 07:14:10AM -0400, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> The reason dependencies work so well for Debian is that the package
> management system can authenticate the shared library dependencies
> without the maintainer needing to be aware of them. Additional
> dependencies are added by the maintainer as they become apparent, but
> the shared library dependencies follow automaticly, guaranteeing that
> the needed libraries will be in place for proper execution of the
> binary.

automated dependency for shared libs is nice, but it's not essential. we
certainly didn't have it when i first joined debian (circa 0.93r5)...and
IIRC, you were already a developer when I joined.

it makes things easier, but it's really not that difficult to figure out
which libraries your package needs - if someone really has no idea or
even any idea how to find out, then perhaps they aren't the right person
to be packaging that particular program.

i use debhelper and i think it's great. i use other automation tools too
because they save me time and effort (intelligently applied laziness is
a virtue). but i don't ever make the mistake of assuming that automation
is any kind of a substitute for having a clue. it's not, and never will

on another topic, i also disagree with your suggestion that debmake,
debhelper, etc should copy themselves into the debian/ subdirectory of
each package that uses them. that would not only bloat the .diff.gz
files for each package, it would defeat part of the purpose of
debhelper: upgrade debhelper and rebuild your package (perhaps with some
tweaks to the rules file) and your package is now semi-automatically
compliant with the latest policy.


craig sanders

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