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Re: Depend on a package from an other arch

+++ Bertrand Marc [2015-08-13 09:42 +0200]:
> Dear developpers,
> I am trying to fix Debian bug #783875 [1]: playonlinux (which is arch
> independant) should depend on the 32 bits version of wine. Therefore I
> added a dependency on wine32|wine32-development, but it seems the
> package will not migrate to testing [2], because wine32 is not available
> on amd64.

So playonlinux should depend on wine32 for arches where it exists
(which is i386, kfreebsd-i386, and powerpc)? But on 64-bit arches it
should depend on wine32:<some foreign arch>? should playonlinux on
ppc64el depend on wine32:powerpc? (It's not currently built on
ppc64el, and maybe it makes no sense there, I just note that wine32 is
built on powerpc so this isn't just an x86 thing?)

> Niels Thykier suggested on mentors that this could be an issue with the
> testing migration code [3], so I send this question to debian-release@ too.
> I thought I should instead add a dependency on wine32:any |
> wine32-development:any and ask the wine maintainer to move to
> multiarch:allowed. 

That seems plausible, but I'm not quite sure what the actual
restrictions you want are. If you are at debconf you might want to
drop in to the marathon multiarch BoF where this could be clarified.
If not, lets work it out here. 

> But the best source on this subject is an Ubuntu
> one [4]. I cannot find any reliable Debian source about this 

The Multiarch spec https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MultiarchSpec was written
up on the ubuntu wiki because the initial implementation was done
there, but it absolutely should be considered a Debian spec as
well as an Ubuntu one. It should have been converted into policy some
time ago, but it's actually quite hard to re-write in that form, and
as you will see from the list of issues for the multiarch BoF at
debconf, there actually remain quite a few corner-cases that need to
be resolved before a definitive spec can be produced. Hopefully that
will be finalised this week and it will finally make it into policy.

> and it seems I was wrong [3].
> Could you give me a pointer on this ? Or do you know any
> package with a dependency on a package from an other arch ?

The only other packages in the archive with dependencies on other
(explicit) arches are multiarch-built (wdotap) cross-compilers
(https://wiki.debian.org/MultiarchCrossToolchainBuild). So far
as I know wine and cross-compilers are the only two areas where
explicit cross-arch dependencies are appropriate, but there may be a
couple of others. 

e.g: gcc-4.9-arm-linux-gnueabihf in unstable depends on

Such packages cannot currently migrate into testing as britney does
not check foreign arches for dependencies. Such dependencies have been
dealt with in the past (e.g for ia32-libs) by declaring fake
dependencies in britney to packages wanting them them to migrate. This
is very hacky. We propose to do this properly now by correctly
checking the dependencies against foreign arches, and allowing
migration for packages on a whitelist, with dependencies on
whitelisted arches. This allows the release team to ensure this
functionality is only used when appropriate.

But in your case I'm not sure that you need any of this.

Principal hats:  Linaro, Debian, Wookware, ARM

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