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Re: RFC: expat transition or update - before or after lenny?

* Daniel Leidert [Mon, 26 May 2008 17:02:38 +0200]:

> Hello,

Hello Daniel, all -- here are my comments on the matter.

First things first, let's uncouple the two issues at hand: uploading a
new expat version, and dropping the .0 symlink. I'm not very sure when
Ardo says in #429175:

| Upgrading expat is a rather tricky thing as due to a major screw up in an
| NMU many moons ago expat in Debian has two sonames...  I haven't found a
| way around this yet without breaking things like being able to install a
| binary package that requires this version of expat.

... what he means. This new upstream release of expat does not bump
SONAME, so it's just a regular update (hell, it does not even introduce
*new* symbols).

So, uploading a new version with the current packaging is not a problem
at all, at least as far as I can see.

                                 * * *

Now, for the "dropping the .0 symlink" part. Two important things:
first, *why* do you want to drop it in the first place?

Second, I'm very much against the "drop it and rename the package" way
that you seem to be proposing, because that'd be a *gratuitous* and
*ugly* library transition that may not be needed at all.

Thing is, for almost 7 years the libexpat.so link has pointed to the .1
name of the library, so the chances that there's anything in our archive
requiring the .0 name don't look very high.

Given that, blindly rebuilding all of expat's r-dependencies, and going
through a painful migration, just in case there is something referring
to the old name, sounds like a no-go to me.

I'd muchly prefer to check *first* if we have within Debian something
referring to the old name. And, depending on how much stuff there is, go
for a package rename, or just rebuild that stuff and add conflicts as

(For stuff people may have unpackaged in their systems... as said above
chances are slim, and even with a rename of the package we'd break it.)

There is *however* one problematic bit already: wink. It's a package in
non-free that has a binary without source that links against the .0 name
(the build failure referred to in the Ubuntu bug report is because of
this). You can't rebuild that. (You can, though, get in touch with the
maintainer or author to see if they'd be willing to rebuild.)

So, in conclusion, please tell us if there're any compelling reasons to
really drop the symlink, or to rename the package at all without
checking first whether there's a big amount of stuff linking against the
old name (which I doubt there is).

Cheers, and thanks for mailing us,

Adeodato Simó                                     dato at net.com.org.es
Debian Developer                                  adeodato at debian.org
- I love you, Shirley, I'm not ashamed to say.
- If you love me, then you'll want me to be happy. Even if I'm not with you.
- I don't love you *that* much.
                -- Denny Crane and Shirley Schmidt

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