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resolution of libtiff release-critical bugs

The libtiff3g package (source package tiff) has 10 outstanding release
critical bugs which are all merged together.  The bug is the result of
an ABI change in libtiff that was not accompanied by a corresponding
soname change, causing some selected applications built with
libtiff3g-3.5.7 (in sarge) to not work correctly when run with 3.6.1
(in sid).  The error has been acknowledged upstream, and the next
version of libtiff will have a new soname and will therefore have a
different source package in debian.  Not all libtiff applications are
impacted: only those that use the TIFFRGBAImage interface.

My proposal is to close the release-critical bugs and let 3.6.1 go
into sarge.  The basic reason is that libtiff3g-3.6.1 has been in sid
for several months, and many packages that were compiled against it
have moved into sarge some time ago.  This includes gtk2.0.  Most or
all of the bugs are no longer able to be reproduced in sarge and, in
fact, some of the programs are now broken in sarge because they were
rebuilt with 3.6.1 and won't run with 3.5.7.  At this point, we have
two choices: declare 3.5.7 as the real libtiff.so.3, or declare 3.6.1
as the real libtiff.so.3.  In the former case, many packages that have
been rebuilt in the last 4.5 months with libtiff 3.6.1 would have to
be rebuilt again.  In the latter case, it's possible that some
applications in sarge may break and have to be rebuilt.  It is very
likely, particularly with all the GNOME changes having occurred with
3.6.1, that there are many more packages in the first situation than
the second one.  My original proposal (referenced below) discusses
this in some more depth.

I have discussed this with the maintainer of the tiff packages and
with some of the maintainers of impacted packages or submitters of the
bugs who happen to be debian developers.  There seems to be general
consensus that my proposal to move libtiff 3.6.1 into sarge is the
correct resolution.  I have also posted this summary to debian-release
and have not gotten a response.  Unless I hear otherwise, it is my
intention to prepare a new libtiff package that includes a suitable
README.Debian and closes the release-critical bugs.  This would be
done with the support of the debian maintainer of the tiff package.
Before going ahead, I'm eager to hear any comments from this list.  If
you disagree with my conclusion from what I've said here, please read
my whole proposal which includes plenty of background and analysis of
why I believe this is the least troublesome of the possible solutions.
You can find my post to debian-release, which is more detailed than
this one, at this address:


I have also posted considerable information to bug 236247, which was
the one among the 10 release critical bugs in which someone actually
identified the ABI change.


Thanks for any comments.  Hopefully we can get libtiff-3.6.1 into
sarge soon and be done with this issue.

Jay Berkenbilt <ejb@ql.org>

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