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Old 05-22-2011, 08:55 PM
Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig
 
Default RFC: a new (meta data) field in .DEB packages

Hi all,

I propose a new field in the control file of .DEB packages
and want to know what you think about it.

In the "control.tar.gz" file of every .DEB archive is the file
"control". There are fields for the package name, the dependencies
etc.

My REQUEST is to add a field called "Development-Package".

Every library package should have the field
"Development-Package" set to the corresponding package name.

For example package "libc6" will have set:

"Development-Package: libc6-dev"

So the package manager can examine all installed packages and
will collect the data of the field: "Development-Package"

Then the package manager may ask the user if he wants to
install all these packages in one turn ...

... quite useful for all software
developers and from-source-installing geeks :-)


I'm looking forward to reading your reply

Regards
Gerold


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Old 05-23-2011, 06:00 AM
Raphael Hertzog
 
Default RFC: a new (meta data) field in .DEB packages

Hello,

On Sun, 22 May 2011, Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig wrote:
> For example package "libc6" will have set:
>
> "Development-Package: libc6-dev"
>
> So the package manager can examine all installed packages and
> will collect the data of the field: "Development-Package"
>
> Then the package manager may ask the user if he wants to
> install all these packages in one turn ...
>
> ... quite useful for all software
> developers and from-source-installing geeks :-)

I don't think this field is needed. First the "-dev" extension
is standardized and it's easy to guess the good package name.
Then if you want to program something that finds out the -dev for a
library, it's also relatively simple:
- find the source package of the library
- scan the list of binary package built by this source package
- filter out the "-dev" one
- if there's more than one -dev, you can try to select the one that
depends on the library that you're interested in (or the one that
matches the pattern "libfood*-dev" (if libfooX is your library).

Adding a new field would mean manual work that's not needed because we
have more than enough info to identify the development packages.

Cheers,
--
Raphaël Hertzog ◈ Debian Developer

Follow my Debian News ▶ http://RaphaelHertzog.com (English)
▶ http://RaphaelHertzog.fr (Français)


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Old 05-23-2011, 02:58 PM
Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig
 
Default RFC: a new (meta data) field in .DEB packages

On 05/23/2011 08:00 AM, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Hello,
>
> On Sun, 22 May 2011, Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig wrote:
>> For example package "libc6" will have set:
>>
>> "Development-Package: libc6-dev"
>>
>> So the package manager can examine all installed packages and
>> will collect the data of the field: "Development-Package"
>>
>> Then the package manager may ask the user if he wants to
>> install all these packages in one turn ...
>>
>> ... quite useful for all software
>> developers and from-source-installing geeks :-)
>
> I don't think this field is needed. First the "-dev" extension
> is standardized and it's easy to guess the good package name.

IMHO the name of the package cannot be guessed 100% right,
because sometimes in front of the "-dev" a number is to be removed
and sometimes not. In some cases it's really much worse.
So lets take the package "libdevel-symdump-perl". Guess what's
the development package? Its "libdevel-dev"! I don't want
to guess. I need a 100% list of all missing "-dev" package for the
package manager to install. And not even all development
packages start with a "lib". That's chaotic.

> Then if you want to program something that finds out the -dev for a
> library, it's also relatively simple:
> - find the source package of the library
I can't download thousands of source packages and let them be examined
by a script just to get the name of the "-dev" packages I want to
install.

But thanks. It's great that there is a script-able method of
finding all "-dev" packages. That will make adding my proposed
"Development-Package" field possible automatable.

> - scan the list of binary package built by this source package
> - filter out the "-dev" one
> - if there's more than one -dev, you can try to select the one that
> depends on the library that you're interested in (or the one that
> matches the pattern "libfood*-dev" (if libfooX is your library).
>
> Adding a new field would mean manual work that's not needed because we
> have more than enough info to identify the development packages.

You showed my how to automatize it so it should be feasible.

I mean it's all about making it easy for the Debian or Ubuntu user to
set up his/her computer as a development machine.

Ubuntu is easy. But what if you like to set it up for compiling a
few packages from source. Then you need to install a hundred or so
"-dev" packages. It's really a time waster. That's annoying.

So please support my proposal. It will help all developers so save
their valuable time in setting up a computer for development.

What do other people think about it?

>
> Cheers,

Regards
Gerold



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Old 05-23-2011, 03:09 PM
Jonathan Nieder
 
Default RFC: a new (meta data) field in .DEB packages

Hi Gerold,

Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig wrote:

> I can't download thousands of source packages and let them be examined
> by a script just to get the name of the "-dev" packages I want to
> install.

See /var/lib/apt/sources/*_Sources, or try

source=$(dpkg-query -W -f='${Source}
' libdevel-symdump-perl)
: ${source:=libdevel-symdump-perl}
apt-cache showsrc "$source" | grep Binary

. No need to download source packages.

> I mean it's all about making it easy for the Debian or Ubuntu user to
> set up his/her computer as a development machine.

Yes, that is the upshot. I am not sure what the best way to do this
is --- installing the development libraries for _all_ installed
run-time libraries does not seem quite right, though I could easily be
wrong.

The usual method is something more like

# apt-get install build-essential
# apt-get build-dep something-big-and-related; # e.g., iceweasel
# apt-get install libfoo-dev libbar-dev libbaz-dev

Anyway, I'd be happy to see a proof of concept that doesn't involve
unnecessarily increasing the size of the already-large Packages file.
Maybe it can start out as an example script under /usr/share/doc/apt
as a stepping stone on the way to world domination.

Thanks for thinking about these things, and good luck.

Regards,
Jonathan


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Old 05-24-2011, 03:34 AM
Goswin von Brederlow
 
Default RFC: a new (meta data) field in .DEB packages

Gerold Jens Wucherpfennig <gjwucherpfennig@gmx.net> writes:

> Hi all,
>
> I propose a new field in the control file of .DEB packages
> and want to know what you think about it.
>
> In the "control.tar.gz" file of every .DEB archive is the file
> "control". There are fields for the package name, the dependencies
> etc.
>
> My REQUEST is to add a field called "Development-Package".
>
> Every library package should have the field
> "Development-Package" set to the corresponding package name.
>
> For example package "libc6" will have set:
>
> "Development-Package: libc6-dev"
>
> So the package manager can examine all installed packages and
> will collect the data of the field: "Development-Package"
>
> Then the package manager may ask the user if he wants to
> install all these packages in one turn ...
>
> ... quite useful for all software
> developers and from-source-installing geeks :-)
>
>
> I'm looking forward to reading your reply
>
> Regards
> Gerold

I think the field will be quite useless. You don't want to blindly
install all -dev packages for all your installed libraries. That would
be a huge waste of space and bandwidth. You only need the -dev packages
used by the source you want to compile and for that we have
Build-Depends already.

Further -dev packages aren't the only thing you need to compile
sources. You often also need extra binary packages, which your
"Development-Package" field would not find. So again you need to install
Build-Depends. And if you need to install Build-Depends anyway then what
is the point of installing Development-Package for all libs first?


If you want to do a from-source-install then I recommend just running
apt-get build-dep <all sources>. Problem solved.

MfG
Goswin


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