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Sorting of '-' and '.' is equal in versions of R packages (Was: Do R autopkgtests not respect versioned Deps?)

On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 12:57:46AM +0530, Nilesh Patra wrote:
> I'd have never known if R upstream treated "-" and "." as different.

I think the problem is that they are treated *equal*.

This might lead to issues if some CRAN developer of package B decides to
simply write a '-' as the version of a dependant package A inside the
dependencies when the developer of the package A has used a '.' in the
version.  IMHO having two different characters sorting same is a weak
concept but simply writing a different character at random is a safe way
to break things sooner or later in an IT ecosystem.  Examples for
patches we had to inject because of this are listed in links below.

Kind regards


[1] https://salsa.debian.org/r-pkg-team/r-cran-luminescence/-/blob/master/debian/patches/fix_r-cran-minpack.lm_version_string.patch
[2] https://salsa.debian.org/r-pkg-team/r-cran-seuratobject/-/blob/master/debian/patches/fix_versioning.patch
[3] https://salsa.debian.org/r-pkg-team/r-bioc-phyloseq/-/blob/master/debian/patches/fix_r-cran-ade4_versioning.patch


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