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

Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig <gjwucherpfennig@gmx.net> writes:

> Hi all,
> I propose a new field in the control file of .DEB packages
> and want to know what you think about it.
> In the "control.tar.gz" file of every .DEB archive is the file
> "control". There are fields for the package name, the dependencies
> etc.
> My REQUEST is to add a field called "Development-Package".
> Every library package should have the field
> "Development-Package" set to the corresponding package name.
> 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'm looking forward to reading your reply
> Regards
> Gerold

I think the field will be quite useless. You don't want to blindly
install all -dev packages for all your installed libraries. That would
be a huge waste of space and bandwidth. You only need the -dev packages
used by the source you want to compile and for that we have
Build-Depends already.

Further -dev packages aren't the only thing you need to compile
sources. You often also need extra binary packages, which your
"Development-Package" field would not find. So again you need to install
Build-Depends. And if you need to install Build-Depends anyway then what
is the point of installing Development-Package for all libs first?

If you want to do a from-source-install then I recommend just running
apt-get build-dep <all sources>. Problem solved.


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