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Re: Policy or best practices for debug packages?

On Mon, Jul 07, 2008 at 10:56:14AM -0400, Theodore Tso <tytso@MIT.EDU> wrote:
> True, although it means there's a bit more work to actually install
> the source package, and then running "./debian/rules build" in order
> to make sure the sources are unpacked and patches appropriately
> applied.  With Red Hat all you have to do is unpack the debuginfo
> package, and the sources that were used to build the binaries are made
> available with no muss and no fuss in
> /usr/lib/debug/usr/src/<pkgname>".  (And an obvious thing for Red Hat
> to have done is to hack gdb to automatically figure out the location
> of the source files, possibly by encoding it in the build-id ---
> although I don't know if they have done it.0
> Is this worth the bloat in packages, especially since the -dbg
> packages are architecture specific and thus would be replicated N
> times?  Probably not, but it's at least worth thinking about the
> functionality and deciding whether we want to replicate it.

Actually, I don't think it is any useful to have source shipped in some
way, by default, at least.

There are 3 kind of people who need -dbg packages.
- Users, when they are asked to provide proper backtraces in bug reports
- Developers, when they need to debug stuff
- Maintainers

Obviously, the latter will be able to get the sources themselves, so do
the second, most of the time, though the debian/rules patch thing might be
a problem, especially when you need to install cdbs or some other stuff to
get it working (only to apply dumb patches, d'uh).

Users, on the other hand, don't need the source. They don't even need the
-dbg packages. They just got in a situation where they were asked to install
it to help the maintainers. Which, by the way, may end up useless because
the user may not get the same crash. And she won't have a core for the
previous crash because the default is not to core (and BTW, it's uselessly
made difficult to override this, see #487879).

It would be nice to get bug-buddy and others to actually dump the process
memory to some file...


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