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Re: Mandatory -dbg packages for libraries?

On Sun, Apr 22, 2007 at 07:29:55PM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Neil Williams wrote:
> > > > Certain packages have already had bug reports requesting a -dbg
> > > > package.
> > >
> > > I'd rather see some offline debug-symbol infrastructure for all
> > > packages implemented, so that you can download the debug symbols when
> > > you need them.
> > 
> > But the -dbg package only depends on the same version of the library -
> > the library won't depend on the -dbg so those who need the -dbg are the
> > only ones who would download and install them.
> Each time this has come up before, the concern has been that adding -dbg
> versions of every binary package would greatly inflate the size of the
> archive, and nearly double the total number of packages, with associated
> scalability problems.
> Even with separated debugging symbols, -dbg packages are frequently
> larger than the package they provide debugging symbols for. See for
> example xserver-xorg-core-dbg. Looking through the 227 lib*-dbg
> packages, I found few contain separated debugging symbols, except for
> packages maintained by the xorg team[1]. I'm not sure if this is due
> many people still not knowing about separated debugging symbols, or due
> to technical reasons. For example, is there a tecnical reason why
> libc6-dbg does not contain separated debugging symbols?
> Anyway, doubling the size of the archive is less of an issue than it
> might have been in the past, since we've done the archive split, and
> since ftp-master has 1.4 Terabytes of disk with half that unused, but
> it is still a concern, for mirrors, number of DVDs, etc.

	What about some special parts on the archive for this, somethings like
what is actually used for source packages, but of course arch dependant:

deb-dbg http://http.us.debian.org/debian sid main

could translate to http://http.us.debian.org/debian/dist/sid/main/dbg-$arch
where all the -dbg packages could live. That would minimize the impact
making -dbg packages easier not to mirror and avoid cluttering packages
lists for non-developers users while only adding a 'add a deb-dbg
mirror' instruction for requesting a backtrace on a bug report.

> Scalability issues with the number of packages have also been reduced in
> some areas. apt no longer has to download the while Packages files on
> each update, so it wouldn't take 2x the bandwidth to add -dbg packages
> for every package to the Packages files. There would still be
> significant impact in apt's memory usage, in the disk space used to
> store the Packages files, in the UIs that have to somehow present or
> hide all these -dbg packages, etc.

	With the above approach this impact is minimized quite nicely. 

> I've considered before trying to set up a separate, parallel archive
> that would only hold the -dbg packages, but implementing that without
> initially using the Debian infrastructure would be tough, and my
> experiences with setting up[2]/maintaining the separate udeb section of
> the archive is that it adds a lot of complexity.
> Someone made a very good point that it's often and increasingly painful to
> rebuild debugging versions for the whole library chain of a binary.
> OTOH, rebuilding a debug version of the binary itself is not especially
> hard.
> So while I'd love to have a way to have -dbg packages available for
> every binary, I actually am happy with this proposal to do it for only
> every library (plus whatever other binaries really need it). And it's a
> direction we're already moving in, with, as I mentioned, 227 lib*-dbg
> packages already in the archive. That's more than 10% of all our
> libraries already done[3].
> So I suggest that we take this as an existing practice, document it as a
> "should" in policy for now, document *how* to do separated debugging
> symbols in the developers reference (which does not currently seem to
> mention it at all), and go add -dbg versions of our library packages.
> -- 
> see shy jo, doing so for aalib now
> [1] Who are doing a really nice job on their -dbg packages.
> [2] Actually, the ftp-masters did all the real setup work.
> [3] Conversely, there are only 62 -dbg packages for non-libraries..

Damián Viano(Des)              ¯ ¯ - _           _ - ¯ ¯
GPG: 0x6EB95A6F                 Debian ¯-_GNU_-¯ Linux
Web: http://damianv.com.ar/               ¯-¯

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