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Revised plans from the Tcl/Tk team

Hi fellow developers!

Following the previous discussion [1] in these lists, I'd like to
present a slightly changed plans for Tcl/Tk in jessie.

First of all, thank you all for comments and suggestions, especially
for keeping me from doing something non-constructive (like renaming
the development packages from tcl8.5-dev to libtcl8.5-dev).

We've almost finished reporting bugs, so the amount of work becomes
more clear. The progress is being tracked in [2], [3] and [4].

Let me remind you the revised tasks and prospective changes in Tcl/Tk packages.

1) Dropping Tcl/Tk 8.4. There are 21 packages which build-depend on
Tcl/Tk 8.4 and 7 additional binary packages which depend on Tcl/Tk 8.4
for now. Also, 6 packages depend on tk8.4|wish, so they will work
after the change as they are.

2) Dropping alternatives for /usr/bin/tclsh and /usr/bin/wish, and use
plain symlinks shipped in the tcl and tk packages respectively. There
are 12 packages which build-depend on Tcl/Tk 8.5 and use tclsh or wish
during the build process (I haven't finished to analyze all build logs
yet, so there might be a few more). Also, there's 13 binary packages
which use tclsh or wish in scripts in /usr/bin.

3) Multiarchifying Tcl/Tk. Appears that there are 9 packages which
cannot find Tcl/Tk libraries in the /usr/lib/<triplet> location during
the build process (more than I'd expected, but still a one-digit

4) Updating the default Tcl/Tk version to 8.6. There are 10 packages
which build process breaks because of not-always-backward-compatible
changes in Tcl/Tk 8.6. The most frequent problem is using a long time
deprecated fields in the Tcl_Interp structure. They were hidden in
8.6, but can be made visible by defining a macro (which is suitable
for a short term fix or for dead projects, but not for a long term

5) There are a few other breaks (an example is blt which parses
libtcl's shlibs file by hands, so switching to symbols breaks it).

We've already reported almost all these issues, mostly with patches.

Looks like all the tasks are fairly doable, so I'd propose the following plan:

1) Bump severity of bugs concerning Tcl/Tk 8.4 (see [2]) to serious.
2) Perform NMU if necessary to fix them.
3) Drop Tcl/Tk 8.4 from the Debian archive.
4) Bump severity of bugs concerning removing /usr/bin/tclsh and
/usr/bin/wish (see [3]) to serious.
5) Perform NMU if necessary to fix them.
6) Upload new tcl/tk8.5, tcl/tk8.6, tcl/tk (upgrade default to 8.6).
7) Help fixing build failures from [4] and other problems which
definitely will show up.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2013/09/msg00500.html
[2] https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianTclTk/TclTk84Removal
[3] https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianTclTk/DropTclshWishAlternatives
[4] https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianTclTk/UpgradeDefaultTclTkTo86

Sergei Golovan

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