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Re: Propossed Project: Odyssey

On Wed, Oct 24, 2001 at 11:43:50AM -0400, Timothy H. Keitt wrote:
> Better yet, lets convince package maintainers not to unnecessarily 
> update all their dependencies to the latest libs in unstable so that 
> packages can be easily backported with 'apt-get -b source ...' My guess 
> is that 60-90% of the packages in unstable do not require the latest lib 
> versions to build, but that maintainers are defaulting their 
> dependencies to be >= the latest version in unstable for no reason (of 
> course, package name changes and package reorganization can throw a 
> wrench into things).

It's relatively rare for build-dependencies to be updated in the way you
describe, except for cases where packages are reorganized or their
behaviour when other packages are built against them changes. If
anything, build-dependencies are usually too loose.

If you're thinking of dependencies on libraries such as libc6, those are
changed because (and usually only when) they have to be, that is when
the library changes its interface in such a way that binaries compiled
against the new version won't necessarily run with the old version.

> If maintainers default to only depend on what is in stable whenever
> possible, many many deb packages would compile just fine on both
> stable and unstable.

This is a useful goal. Just don't confuse binary dependencies with
source dependencies. A package may depend on libc6 (>= 2.2.4-2), but if
you built it on stable it might well compile fine and produce a package
that depends on libc6 (>= 2.1.3-18). That isn't to say that the first
package would work with the old libc6 if you just installed it directly.

(Follow-ups set away from -project - this is a technical discussion.)

Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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