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Re: Automatic Debug Packages

Josselin Mouette <joss@debian.org> writes:
> Le mardi 11 août 2009 à 16:13 -0700, Russ Allbery a écrit :

>> Without the symlink, they're not valid Debian packages.  It seems like
>> a small price to pay for keeping them consistent with the rest of
>> Policy.

> The policy is just a document. The question is more about what this
> symlink would bring.

I don't agree with that decision-making process.  Absent some reason why
we should *not* be consistent, consistency should win by default.

> BTW, udebs don’t have a /usr/share/doc directory, so that makes a
> precedent.

udebs explicitly do not comply with Debian Policy; that is, in fact, part
of the point of udebs.  But so far there doesn't seem to be any reason for
debugging packages to not comply with Debian Policy (as opposed to udebs,
where there are many very good reasons).

(I also think that the way we handled udebs was and is suboptimal, and had
I been a Policy delegate at the time they were introduced, I would have
pushed for much clearer documentation of the udeb package format in
Policy.  But water under the bridge.)

>> In this case, I believe that, in order to comply with some of our
>> DFSG-free licenses, we will have to ship a copyright file in the debug
>> package.

> I’m not sure of what is necessary here. How do we deal with that
> specific issue in udebs?

I don't know what we do with udebs.

By my reading, we can't legally distribute binary packages covered under
the Expat license, for instance, without including a copy of the copyright

  Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its
  documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted,
  provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies [...]

We've decided that shipping packages with a hard dependency on another
package that has the copyright notice satisfies this requirement, but a
debugging package for a whole source package can't easily have the same
hard dependency.  I suppose if it has a hard dependency on one of a set of
other packages, each of which has the copyright notice, that might be
sufficiently, although we miss the clean symlink pointer to where that
copyright notice is.

>> Also, some source packages are *huge*, and I don't want to have to
>> install 50GB of debugging information for, say, all of KDE just because
>> I want the debugging symbols for a single library.  I suppose that's
>> why you have the escape clause of letting maintainers do it differently
>> if they desire, but there I really would like to see us treat the
>> entire archive identically if at all possible.

> The main purpose of setting up an archive of debugging symbols is to be
> able to use them transparently without installation, so that doesn’t
> change much.

I don't understand how what you say is related to what I said.  How does
having them in a separate archive affect whether or not I have to download
a 50GB package to get debugging symbols for KDE?  Whether that download
happens automatically or not, it's still a serious issue for some network
bandwidth profiles.

> That said, it’s clearly a good reason to allow splitting ddebs manually
> at the maintainer’s discretion for some of the largest packages.

Or using one debugging package per binary package by default, which
provides a level of granularity that makes this just not an issue.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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