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Re: Use clisp shiped with source or from Debian?

On Tue, 2006-04-11 at 21:06 +0000, Joerg Sommer wrote:
> Hi,
> I would like to pack Xindy an index processing system like makeindex.
> Xindy's source comes with clisp 2.33.2 and it is compiled at build time.
> I've got it managed to build with the clisp package from Debian. But I
> have little problem and saw the Debian package depends on X11. Upstream
> do not support other versions than this one shipped with the source and
> depending on the clisp package would make more packages need to be
> installed to use Xindy -- a simple text processor needs X11.
> On the other hand I can decrease the compile time heavily, make the
> package architecture independent and smaller. And I see the problem that
> I have to track the development of clisp and maybe backport (security)
> bugs if I use the clisp version from the tarball.
> What do you think? Is it better to use the clisp version shipped with the
> source tarball or use the Debian package?

I think it is much better to use the Debian package.  The security team
will thank you, as will current and future porters.  As an occasional
porter for GNU/kFreeBSD, I can say that the biggest problem I've
encountered is the plethora of versions of libgc (the boehm garbage
collector), almost all of which have been slightly hacked to support
some feature or another.

Not only does this make more work for me and other porters, should there
ever be a security bug in libgc, my mail server will probably die under
the load of all the DSAs sent.

Additionally, rebuilding software bloats the archive and prevents fixes
that may be Debian-specific (think FHS) from being uniformly applied.
It also increases build times on older architectures (think m68k).

And, from a purely selfish point of view, you want the Debian clisp
maintainer and clisp upstream to do the work of making clisp work in
Debian, not you.  You will be able to give your package more attention
if you work on fixing the Xindy bugs, and not the clisp bugs.  It's
better for both you and the users.

And if you needed any more arguments: Debian is not Windows.  DLL Hell
is explicitly unsupported on Debian.

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