[Build-common-hackers] Bug#537240: Bug#537240: Bug#537240: Bug#537240: Bug#537240: cdbs: should create versioned debhelper dependency

Russ Allbery rra at debian.org
Mon Aug 3 21:48:24 UTC 2009

Jonas Smedegaard <dr at jones.dk> writes:
> On Mon, Aug 03, 2009 at 12:50:27PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> If I were you, I'd special-case the debhelper dependency here to always
>> match the compat level (unless, of course, something is in use that
>> requires a newer version than the compat level).

> I understand you reasoning for backporting, but not for allowing
> alternate tools.  Did you not respond to that part, or do you mean to
> say that debhelper makes no sense to make room for alternate
> implementations of?

The latter.  Given the number of dependencies for debhelper in the archive
that are already versioned and will likely remain so (the archive as a
whole takes up new debhelper compat levels significantly faster than the
migration of those compat levels into a stable release; notice how many
packages are already depending on debhelper 7.0.50 or later for override
support), a replacement for debhelper is not going to be able to just
Provide:  debhelper and have that work in most interesting cases anyway.

Should anyone make a serious attempt to provide an alternative
implementation of debhelper, it will require using a versioned virtual
package similar to what's done for debconf, which will require more
comprehensive dependency changes anyway.  In the meantime, not versioning
debhelper dependencies for the one, somewhat special case of using an
older compat level isn't going to help much with such a possible future

Russ Allbery (rra at debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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