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Re: Bug#560786: gdb: Please make the python dependency optional

On Sun, 2009-12-20 at 08:25 +1030, Ron wrote:
> On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 08:12:44PM +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> > Why would you install gdb on a (non-development) system, rather than a
> > gdb stub?
> Maybe I'm missing something cool and obvious here, but in the particular
> case this came to my attention: simplicity?
> The device is amply endowed enough to comfortably run gdb on it directly,
> and all I really needed gdb for was to get a backtrace from a single
> failure.

Without debug information?

> I don't really expect to need it again anymore for a while.
> I've always considered the stubs to be for devices that _aren't_ powerful
> enough to run gdb (or a minimal, but otherwise "out of the box" Debian
> install for that matter).  This one isn't _that_ small.
> What it doesn't have is mountains of desktop grade filesystem storage, so
> filling that with interpreters for languages that will never be used on
> it, doesn't really seem like the best use of customers hard earned dollars.

What you seem to be saying is, gdb used to be small enough that you
could squeeze it into a production image even though you didn't need it
very often.  And the new version of gdb breaks that.  I think that's
just tough luck.  If another more important package grows that might
also force you to throw out gdb.

> And this doesn't really seem like an unusual device configuration for the
> next 5 - 10 years or so.  We really would rather just run Debian on it than
> hack up yet another pseudo-distro because it wouldn't fit for silly reasons,
> so I'd like to "not have to pay for things we don't need", to steal an idea
> from the C++ folk.

The gdb front-end is surely in the "things [you] don't need" category.

> Am I really missing something about the stubs that would make that easier,
> or faster, or better, than apt-get install gdb, followed by "bt"?  Because
> then yeah, maybe my point here is moot.  But my impression is it would be
> a lot more work than that, and I don't see an arm stub at all, (and
> gdbserver is in the gdb package ...)?

That strongly suggests that gdbserver should be split into a separate


> If I'm wrong, I'll have learned something cool though, which would be
> win-win enough for me ;)

Ben Hutchings
Humans are not rational beings; they are rationalising beings.

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