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Re: Bug#498138: check for deprecated OCaml -custom linked executable

[ replying to Russ' post, which contains the interesting part to
  support Stephane's reply ]

On Sun, Sep 07, 2008 at 10:02:27AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > ... but I doubt that we can rely on external packages from lintian
> > checks (lintian maintainers: can we?). So I suggest implementing the
> > test in pure Perl, not relying on ocamlobjinfo, it won't be hard at all.
> It's possible if the tool is lightweight, but we'd rather not pull in
> anything with significant dependencies.  It also constrains maintenance in
> the future, since lintian.d.o is on a stable system.  So yes, I think pure
> Perl would be better.

On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 03:36:53PM +0200, Stéphane Glondu wrote:
> A .cma file is a marshalled OCaml structure. It would be insane (and
> fragile) to use anything else than ocamlobjinfo to read it.
> Maybe we can make an optional check that will be enabled if ocamlobjinfo
> is available (and making ocaml-nox a Suggestion)? When building
> OCaml-related packages, it is always installed anyway.

That, to me, looks like *a* possible way of implementing that. Before
going forward however, I'd like to have Lintian's maintainer approval
on the strategy. What we are proposing is a conditional lintian check,
to be implemented in Perl as usual, but relying on an executable which
is *not* granted to be there by lintian dependencies.

In this particular case it will be /usr/bin/ocamlobjinfo. The lintian
test will do nothing, silently, if the executable is not
there. (Alternatively, it can emit a warning or an info message if the
package is recognized to be OCaml-related and ocamlobjinfo is not
Russ: what would you think of that?

More generally though, I believe we have an interest in adding
OCaml-specific checks to lintian. Is there an alternative way, such as
a plugin system supporting external Lintian tests? It would be very
interesting for us to ship them via our dh-ocaml package, and I'm
confident other packaging communities will be interested in doing the
same for their pet packages.


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
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