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Re: R 3.0.0 and required rebuilds of all reverse Depends: of R

Le Sun, Mar 31, 2013 at 07:02:15PM -0400, Scott Kitterman a écrit :
> Depends: r-base-core (>= 3.0.0~20130327) , r-base-core (<< 4) 
> or you could have an API virtual package:
> r-base-api-3.0 

Hi Dirk and everybody,

since we already have a substitution variable in most of the R packages
(R:Depends), I think that we can use it to address the problem.

First, let's define the problem: R broke backwards compatibility a couple of
times since it has been packaged.  Rebuilding packages is usually done swiftly,
but there remains the problem of transitions to Testing and updates on the
users computers.  There is usually a gap of some years between breakages,
so we do not want an over-engeneered solution.

I like the idea of an api virtual package, as it requires little work from the
parties involved and solves most of the problem.  (The exception being that
partial upgrades from Wheezy to Jessie will not be supported, but this is also
the case in the current situation).

 - /usr/share/R/debian/r-cran.mk, which is used in most R packages and produces
   the R:Depends substitution variable, would make packages depend on the r-api
   virtual package instead of requiring a version equal or superior to the version
   of r-base-core used at build time.

 - Next time R breaks backwards compatibility, Dirk would need to modify the
   Provides: line in debian/control and voilà, the new R core package can not
   be installed on a system without removing or upgrading the R library packages
   that were built with the old API.

Let's discuss the details on #704805

Have a nice week-end,

Charles Plessy
Debian Med packaging team,
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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