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Re: Advice on packaging SAGE

On Mon, 28 May 2007 18:19:20 -0500
"Jordi Gutierrez Hermoso" <jordigh@gmail.com> wrote:

> Unfortunately, packaging it for Debian looks like a momentuous task.

You should seek to create a team to manage large packages.

> SAGE, as it stands right now, distributes its own versions of a number
> of other free software packages that are already in Debian, e.g.
> Maxima and Octave (and many more). I have asked SAGE's lead developer
> about this, and he says that the specific versions of these
> dependencies, which the SAGE hackers have patched for their own
> purposes, are extremely important and SAGE cannot function with a
> different version of these dependencies.

Then SAGE should be stenuously encouraged (i.e. don't package until
they do unless absolutely impossible) to push those patches upstream
so that the existing packages can be used. 

> Is there anything that can be done about this? 

Not quickly - this is going to take time. You'll need to seek team
members and identify which patches need to be reported to which Debian
packages. I'd advice that you create an alioth project to coordinate
efforts, it can provide a mailing list, CVS for the debian/ code and a
homepage just for the debian packaging team.

> Packaging a different
> version of Octave with a _SAGE version number or whatever seems
> ridiculous. 

Probably. It is possible to package it internally but that will also
need changes in SAGE so that it correctly locates the local version,
not the system version. (i.e. /usr/lib/sage/octave
and /usr/share/sage/octave etc.).

> Is SAGE unpackageable 

No but it is almost certainly unsuitable via debian.mentors /

> or should a DD be in charge of
> modifying SAGE sufficiently in order to give good compatibility with
> other existing Debian packages?

A team, containing one or more DD's, is the best option. Unfortunately,
I am not available for such a team.

Get the alioth stuff started and then raise this on debian-devel to see
if some other DD's are interested.


Neil Williams

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