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Re: RFC: a new (meta data) field in .DEB packages

On 05/23/2011 08:00 AM, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Hello,
> On Sun, 22 May 2011, Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig wrote:
>> For example package "libc6" will have set:
>> "Development-Package: libc6-dev"
>> So the package manager can examine all installed packages and
>> will collect the data of the field: "Development-Package"
>> Then the package manager may ask the user if he wants to
>> install all these packages in one turn ...
>> ... quite useful for all software
>> developers and from-source-installing geeks :-)
> I don't think this field is needed. First the "-dev" extension
> is standardized and it's easy to guess the good package name.

IMHO the name of the package cannot be guessed 100% right,
because sometimes in front of the "-dev" a number is to be removed
and sometimes not. In some cases it's really much worse.
So lets take the package "libdevel-symdump-perl". Guess what's
the development package? Its "libdevel-dev"! I don't want
to guess. I need a 100% list of all missing "-dev" package for the
package manager to install. And not even all development
packages start with a "lib". That's chaotic.

> Then if you want to program something that finds out the -dev for a
> library, it's also relatively simple:
> - find the source package of the library
I can't download thousands of source packages and let them be examined
by a script just to get the name of the "-dev" packages I want to

But thanks. It's great that there is a script-able method of
finding all "-dev" packages. That will make adding my proposed
"Development-Package" field possible automatable.

> - scan the list of binary package built by this source package
> - filter out the "-dev" one
> - if there's more than one -dev, you can try to select the one that
>   depends on the library that you're interested in (or the one that
>   matches the pattern "libfoo\d*-dev" (if libfooX is your library).
> Adding a new field would mean manual work that's not needed because we
> have more than enough info to identify the development packages.

You showed my how to automatize it so it should be feasible.

I mean it's all about making it easy for the Debian or Ubuntu user to
set up his/her computer as a development machine.

Ubuntu is easy. But what if you like to set it up for compiling a
few packages from source. Then you need to install a hundred or so
"-dev" packages. It's really a time waster. That's annoying.

So please support my proposal. It will help all developers so save
their valuable time in setting up a computer for development.

What do other people think about it?

> Cheers,


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