[Steve Langasek] > python-dev provides an interface that packages can build-depend on > which gives them both /usr/bin/python, and a set of development tools > from the corresponding version of python. This is not analogous to > petsc-dev, which only depends on the versioned -dev package. The only point of python-dev seems to be to pull in the development package for Debian's default python version. That it also pulls in 'python' (another near-empty package) is pretty incidental to that. If petsc-dev has the purpose of providing the development environment for Debian's default (only current shipping?) libpetsc version, that seems like exactly the same situation. The difference would be the expected degree of source API compatibility between library versions in each case - it may be that the python development API is more stable. In either case, though, I can't see why a package would want to build-depend on either petsc-dev or python-dev.
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