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Re: Propossed Project: Odyssey

Adam Heath wrote:

On Wed, 24 Oct 2001, 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). 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 shows a deep misunderstanding of the way shared libraries work.

I think you mean lack of understanding of how dpkg handles shared library dependencies, which is indeed the case. Someone also pointed out that run-time (binary) and build-time (source) dependencies are quite different, which is also true.

If a library is changed, and uploaded, it may require an update to its
/var/lib/dpkg/info/*.shlibs file.  When pkgs are then rebuilt against that
library, the pkg-version dependency info is taken from this file.  That is
what causes newer libraries to be depended on.  It is not a conscious effect
on the maintainer.

As was pointed out previously, this only effects binary packages; I was referring to source dependencies.

Additionally, if a new version of a package comes out, that depends on a new
library, do you think that the new package should not be allowed into debian,
on the fact that backporting to an older version of debian would be
problematic?  That line of thinking means nothing would ever be upgraded.

I think if you read my post a bit more carefully, you would see that my point was that if the upstream source builds on stable without major loss of functionality, then the debian source package should not unnesessarily depend on unstable so that it can produce binary debs for both stable and unstable. It would be interesting to see how many source packages in unstable will currently build with 'dpkg -b' on stable. Perhaps more than I think. My experience was actually with trying to build source packages from unstable on progeny (newton) and there came a point in time when it was generally no longer possible because of unmet dependencies (and fufilling those source dependencies basically meant switching to testing/unstable). Also, note my use of "unnesessary" and "whenever possible"; of course dependencies on unstable will sometimes be necessary and 'dpkg -b' backporting will not be possible.


Timothy H. Keitt
Department of Ecology and Evolution
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, New York 11794 USA
Phone: 631-632-1101, FAX: 631-632-7626

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