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Re: Proposed question topics

On Sun, Jan 09, 2005 at 07:58:15PM +0100, Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> On 10164 March 1977, Brian Nelson wrote:
> > 1. debhelper
> >    I've found that some applicants don't really understand debhelper
> >    very well.  I'd like to add a question that asks what debhelper is,
> >    what purposes it serves, what alternatives are available, and how to
> >    use it properly (debian/compat, build-depends, ${misc:Depends},
> >    basically the stuff covered in
> >    http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2003/03/msg00002.html).
> Isnt that more for the package check? 98% of them are having dh_
> packages, so let them prepare a really good one of it.
> Next step of course redo the whole stuff without dh.

No.  I absolute detest the idea of making NMs do pointless work.  If I
had been asked to rewrite one of my packages to not use dh while I was
going through NM, I would have immediately quit and never joined Debian.
I had better things to do with my time.

Plus it's completely trivial.  Just build with DH_VERBOSE=1 and watch
what it does.

All I really want to ensure is that the applicants have a general
understanding of debhelper.

> > 3. debconf, ucf
> >    I think applicants should have an understanding of when to use
> >    debconf in their packages, how to use it, and when ucf can be used in
> >    conjunction with it.
> ucf, hrmm. One can enhance the question we already have that points to
> debconf, so it includes more debconf and also ucf related stuff.

But that question does not inherently go into any detail.  In
particular, I think question priorities should be dealt with.

> > 4. debconf notes vs. debian/NEWS
> >    Which to use...
> See above.
> > 5. testing migration
> >    How packages migrate to testing, how to diagnose and fix migration
> >    problems, and where to ask for help...
> Thats in the urgency question together with the "Many Debian suites" one.

I don't think either of those questions go into enough detail, unless I
manually prod the applicant.

> > 7. library packaging
> >    I'd like to see some more questions about library packaging, since it
> >    can be very tricky and many people, including existing developers,
> >    make mistakes with it.  In particular sonames, shlibs,
> >    ${shlibs:Depends}, dpkg-shlibdeps, and especially proper use of
> >    dh_makeshlibs.
> Not everyone will package libs later. The basic questions I have should
> give them the right directions, including a reading of the lib guides we
> have, so they remember later where too look. Anything more is IMO too
> much, some AMs already strip (most of) the library questions.

But all package maintainers will have to deal with libraries in some
way.  I strongly believe they should have a basic understanding of how
Debian deals with libraries.  Furthermore, any developer can upload a
library package.  Just because they don't think they will when they
enter NM doesn't mean they should get a free pass.

Let's face it--a large number of libraries in Debian are not packaged
well at all.  It's an obvious problem, and it's something that NM should

> > That last one reminds me--the question:
> >     Why does a foo-dev package depends on foo?
> >     Why is it fooX-dev and not foo-dev in some cases?
> > is confusing.  Many applicants read that and say, "huh?"  I think the
> > question is trying to ask why libraries are split into libblahX and
> > libblah-dev packages, and why it can be useful to have multiple -dev
> > versions for a library.  Joerg, can you please clarify?
> Yes, it asks why there are sometimes multiple version of one dev
> package.

OK.  What about the foo-dev depends on foo part?

FWIW, I've rewritten this question as follows in my local templates:

    Why does a libfoo-dev package depend on libfoo?  Why is it
    libfooX-dev (where X is an integer) and not libfoo-dev in some

I'm still not very happy with the question though.

For every sprinkle I find, I shall kill you!

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