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Re: The ghost of libc-dev

On Fri, Feb 18, 2005 at 06:30:42PM +0100, Bill Allombert wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 17, 2005 at 02:05:56PM -0700, Joel Aelwyn wrote:
> > So, while discussing a bug in a -dev with the maintainer, recently, it
> > reminded me to review an old thread from d-devel regarding the weird
> > situation with libc-dev as a pure virtual package.
> > 
> > The summary is this:
> > 
> > *) The 'libc-dev' package is a pure virtual package, roughly meaning
> > "provides the headers and symlinks for C library development".
> > 
> > *) The standard way of doing this today is to have a -dev package which
> > needs libc headers Depend on 'libc6-dev | libc-dev' to avoid the situation
> > of having only a pure-virtual package.
> I have a genuine question:
> Consider a -dev package that Depends on libc6-dev. Is there any drawback
> to make it Depends on libc-dev instead ?
> 1) libc6-dev is a purely virtual dependency on alpha and ia64. libc-dev is
> a purely virtual dependency evrywhere, but is it really worse ?
> 2) The 'Depends: libc6-dev' has no bearing on buildd, since a package
> providing libc6-dev is always installed as part of build-essential.
> So, am I overlooking something ? I am not objecting to make it depends on
> 'libc6-dev | libc-dev' but I don't see the point.
> Thanks in advance for any enlightenment.

The proposal for the debhelper script is actually to make the issue
obsolete; on any given platform, you would get only the libcX-dev that was
relevant to that platform (libc6-dev on i386, libc12-dev on netbsd-i386,
libc1-dev on kfreebsd-i386, libc6.1-dev on alpha and ia64, etc).

I suspect the reason we haven't seen more breakages than we already do is
that a versioned dependancy on libc*-dev seems to be fairly rare, and the
glibc ones all Provide: libc6-dev anyway, meaning that APT can resolve it
based on the (effectively mixed-virtual) libc6-dev, rather than falling
back to libc-dev.
Joel Aelwyn <fenton@debian.org>                                       ,''`.
                                                                     : :' :
                                                                     `. `'

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