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Re: RFS: libhttp

On Tue, 29 May 2007 23:13:06 -0500
Rich Johnson <nixternal@ubuntu.com> wrote:

> Dear mentors,
> I am looking for a sponsor for my package "libhttp".

Hmm. I'm not sure about the package name - http is a VERY crowded
namespace and a lot of users would assume some kind of Apache
connection with this package.

Which package(s) are going to depend on this library?

> * Package name    : libhttp
>   Version        	  : 1.1-1
>   Upstream Author : Alan DuBoff <aland@softorchestra.com>
> * URL             	  : http://www.softorchestra.com
> * License         	  : GPL
>   Section         	  : libs
> It builds these binary packages:
> libhttp    - small streaming data xfer over socket framework

The binary should specify the SONAME: libhttp0 or libhttp1. The source
package is fine.

> libhttp-dev - small streaming data xfer over socket framework
> (developer files)

You should also provide a -dbg package for all libraries (you also
haven't specified the language used in this project - the code samples
in the txt file are all C). -dbg packages are likely to become mandatory
in due course to provide a complete debug chain. In an embedded context,
these would be used inside a chroot on the workstation (debugging on an
iPAQ isn't fun.) 

I fully understand the embedded maxim: Small is bad, tiny is better,
tiniest is best. So I can see a role for this package - in preference
to the comparatively large wget.

Your website txt file mentions embedded use (hence my interest as
DD & Emdebian developer and iPAQ/GPE developer) but remember that this
is not simply going into Emdebian or some limited repository just for
embedded packages. It is going into Debian with 19,000 other packages.
Let's just say that most of the short names have been taken. ;-)

It would be VERY handy to convert that txt file into the simplest of
HTML and link to it from the homepage. (It's also v.long for a txt file
so it would be best to split it into general, usage, history and API
pages). Nothing fancy, just wrap in <html><body> </body></html> and
wrap each paragraph in <p></p> and maybe use a few <h1></h1> lines.

> I would be glad if someone uploaded this package for me.

I'm willing to take a closer look at it and potentially sponsor it -
BUT the package name must be changed first, IMHO.

It could be something as simple as libemhttp - depending on which other
programs are going to be able to use it.

The other problem is that you appear to make this CPU-specific - I
think this should be made much clearer. Exactly which CPU's are
supported and which are not?

Note that this is likely to be used embedded devices that are MUCH
smaller than an iPAQ.

The txt file also describes what looks like a 'hget' binary (amongst
others) - those should be a separate package, not something installed by

Maybe rename the source package as emhttp-tools. The main package
provides the binaries which depend on libemhttp0 and this ONLY contains
the shared library, built from the one source package (along with the
-dbg and -dev). i.e. you should be making FOUR binary packages from
this tarball:

emhttp-tools: /usr/bin/*
libemhttp0: /usr/lib/
libemhttp-dev: /usr/include usr/lib/pkgconfig (if used) and the other
components of a normal -dev.
libemhttp-dbg: /usr/lib/debug/usr/lib

Debian will add other bits like ChangeLog, copyright and manpages for
each of those binaries. Emdebian will remove all of those and
cross-build suitable binaries.

On a final note, I haven't looked at the package yet but I would
STRONGLY recommend CDBS for this package. It makes automated
cross-builds trivial. Whatever you use, *please* do not use highly
customised rules in debian/rules. As a package directly targetting
embedded uses (and which has very, very little benefit to a desktop
machine) it is only sensible to ensure that it cross-builds (within
Debian) as easily as possible. See http://wiki.debian.org/EmdebianGuide
(Adding cross-build detection section.)


Neil Williams

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