Re: JOEL BAKER, STOP TELLING PEOPLE TO DEPEND ON LIBC-DEV *INSTEAD* OF LIBC6-DEV
On Mon, Oct 14, 2002 at 05:43:42PM -0500, Branden Robinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> was heard to say:
> zlib (1:1.1.4-6) unstable; urgency=low
> * Depend on libc-dev rather than libc6-dev (closes: #164649).
> So of course this package is going to be uninstallable now, just like openssl
> was a few days ago.
No, and I just performed the dpkg -i to test it.
> In Debian GNU/Linux, "libc-dev" is a pure virtual package. It doesn't
> matter if "libc-dev" is a real package on GNU/Hurd or *BSD. You will
> break Debian GNU/Linux if you tell people to change "libc6-dev"
> dependencies to "libc-dev".
No you won't.
The reason for the openssl breakage was this:
Depends: libc (>= 2.2.5-15)
dpkg does not handle versioned dependencies on virtual packages, as I
hope everyone here is aware. That was the cause of breakage in the last
That's not to say that this is *good*; people should be listing real
dependencies alongside (before) virtual ones. apt uses this information
to determine which package to install if nothing satisfying the virtual
dep is available.
OTOH, a dependency of "libc6-dev | libc-dev" will have the same effect
as "libc-dev" on a platform where libc6-dev does not exist or is a
virtual package provided by the real libc. So it really doesn't gain
you anything over libc-dev on non-i386 platforms.
The correct way to handle this is probably to choose this dependency
at build-time based on the architecture. Ugly, but..
> I WOULDN'T HAVE TO SHOUT LIKE THIS IF PACKAGE MAINTAINERS COULD BE
> BOTHERED TO PERFORM EVEN THE MEAGER TESTING THAT "dpkg -i" ENTAILS.
> TEST BEFORE YOU UPLOAD.
I agree with the last line here -- I've seen far too many packages
lately that were trivially broken and clearly hadn't been tested at all.
Please, people, take 120 seconds to test your package before you spend
the bandwidth to upload them!
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