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Re: Feaping Creature-ism in core Debian Packages

On Thu, 2 Sep 1999, Joey Hess wrote:

> Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > Personally I object to perl routines embedded in a rules file, but the
> > point I was trying to make is that placing perl-base in the essential
> > packages creates a "camel's nose" situation. Those who use perl are now
> > allowed to do so in installation scripts as well as in package build
> > circumstances. Now the stage is set for the inclusion of perlisms that
> > aren't supported by this essential package, but were available on the
> > maintainer's machine when he built the package. Now, even though you may
> > have the proper essential packages installed, the build fails because some
> > additional feature of perl is not available.
> Are you talking about install time dependancies or source dependancies? You
> waver from one to the other, making it very hard to carry on a useful
> conversation.

I understand. I'm having the same problem. Various people want to talk to
one or the other, and responding to them has broadened the discussion more
than I expected.

> If you're talking about install time dependnaces above, then:

As best I can tell, the above comments speak to both installation and

> In case you arn't aware, lintian checks for these mistakes. And it does a
> damn good job. (Not that I couldn't fool it..)
This doesn't really speak to the issue.

> If not, no counteragrument, except bugs can be filed, and the boundries of
> perl-base are very clear-cut. I don't think we should assume incompetance
> here.
This isn't about incompetance, but about the variability of perl.

See my last posting of Alan Cox's comments about perl. There is no defined
grammar for perl, so just saying that perl-base is "clear-cut" isn't
sufficient. The fact that the next version of perl-base may have changes
in grammar, breaking existing perl scripts. The fact that features may
move into and then back out of this package also makes that "clear-cut"
boundary you speak of less well defined.

While I did not start the discussion of perl with the intent of rolling
back our current position, the longer this discussion goes on, the more I
am inclined to take just that position. Specifically, if the LSB is going
to not allow perl in installation scripts, because of the instability of
the produce, then Debian must decide whether or not it will follow this
new standard.

Maybe the isn't such a worthless discussion after all?


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