[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

How to package a database (not program)?

I'd like to package the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard
Reference [1].  This won't (yet) be an official Debian package, but I
expect in the future I'll want to become a real Debian developer so that
I can be the maintainer for it.  For the moment I'll just make it
available for people to download from my web site.

There are no licensing issues because the data is in the public domain.

My motivation for packaging it is that I'm writing a program which uses
it.  I've also found two other programs that use it (Gnutrition and
NUT).  Both include full copies along with their executables.  I think
it makes sense to break it out as a separate package that such programs
could then depend on.

The data comes from the USDA as a file designed to be imported into a
relational database (such as MySQL).  It's really not very useful
otherwise.  My question is how do I package this correctly?  I want my
package to import it into a database, but I don't want to dictate to the
user which database program to use.  Something appropriate might be for
the configure script to ask the user for the name of a SQL server, along
with a user name and a password.  I'm not sure this would be sufficient,
though, because as a new student of SQL I'm learning there's no standard
way of creating a database (horror!).  So maybe this would mean the
package would have to look for local client drivers of MySQL,
PostgreSQL, etc.

I found a thread [2] that touched on this problem but didn't solve it.

Please point me to the right policy, mailing list, thread, or solution
to this problem.


[1] http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/

Reply to: