gap4 is huge - how to split?
Gap4 is a computer algebra system, specifically designed for working
in group theory. The version in Debian is slightly out of date
and orphaned; I have posted an ITA earlier today.
Gap4 is quite big and I could use some advice on how to split it up.
Upstream, gap4 (version 4.3) is distributed in two tar-balls, currently
gap4r3.tar.gz (47Mb) and fix4r3n4.tar.gz (1.1Mb). The second one basically
contains patches. (There are also contributed packages for gap; I'll see
if it is worthwhile to distribute those as well.)
In Debian, gap4 (version 4.2) is currently distributed as 6 source packages
giving 8 binary packages:
gap4 (4.4Mb) (giving binary packages gap4 (3.8Mb), gap4-gac (2.0Mb),
gap4-test (0.2Mb)) gap4-doc-dvi (1.1Mb), gap4-doc-html (0.8Mb),
gap4-doc-ps (2.1Mb), gap4-gdat (16.7Mb), gap4-tdat (6.8Mb).
(As an aside, if you sum the sizes of all the source packages, you
only get to 31.9Mb. I don't know yet if gap really grew by 15Mb from
version 4.2 to version 4.3 or if something else is going on).
The reason for this splitting up is, I think, that whenever there is an
upstream bug fix release, the huge tables (in -gdat and -tdat) and the
documentation is unlikely to change.
However, looking through the bugfixes for version 4.3, this seems to be false.
Well, the documentation didn't change, but the tables did.
So I'm inclined to simplify packaging by making only a single source
package (and still the same binary packages - the tables and the documentation
are architecture independent, of course). This would mean superfluous uploads
of the documentation binary packages whenever upstream has a bug fix
release, but those are relatively small. The tables would have to be
renewed anyway, it seems.
Can anyone think of a reason why I shouldn't do this?
Peter van Rossum <firstname.lastname@example.org>