[Dict-common-dev] Status of the Debian ispell dicts and wordlist transition

Agustín Martín Domingo agmartin@aq.upm.es
Thu, 12 Dec 2002 15:27:22 +0100

Hi all

This message is to let you know the current state of the ispell
dictionaries and wordlist (IDWP) transition to the new policy.

The system is currently being hold by a fake bug until we make sure that
all IDWP can pass to testing at the same time. A bug with aspell on hppa
has been keeping back all packages that also create an aspell
dictionary. Fortunately that bug, due to libtool, seems no longer be
present with latest libtool and a new aspell package has been uploaded
to Debian in the hope that it would now build for all arches.

However we found a couple of additional problems, the mipsel build
system had its dpkg database corrupted on October 28th, where a number
of ispell dicts was tried to build and the autobuilder did not try again
since them. Ryan Murray has already been mailed about this.

There is also a problem for some packages already in testing that
previously built only an ispell dictionary and a wordlist, but now also
build an aspell dict. Since aspell could never be built for mips/mipsel,
that packages cannot currently be built for mips/mipsel and the
'testing' scripts do not consider them appropriate to pass from unstable
to testing. This currently affects Norwegian and Dutch packages and,
unless somebody manages to make aspell compile with mips/mipsel gcc,
will probably require asking for manual intervention from the release
manager, if he thinks that is O.K.

We hope that soon all these things are solved some way, the fake bug
closed and all the system pass to testing.

Speaking about aspell at some time it will be upgraded to the latest
version (0.50) or even to a higher version if released. This aspell
versions have some differences with respect to the old (0.33) one. One
of the most important for us is that it no longer supports the
pspell-ispell modules, so all ispell dictionaries will stop working from
pspell at that time. Sorry, that is not a bug, is an upstream feature.
Also the .pwli files will no longer be used. That means that if you
relied in them for your aspell dict you should reread the aspell
documentation for the proper changes. The dict format will also change
although the build interface not. You will receive a notification in
advance from the aspell maintainer about that. Remember that this is for
the new aspell that has already not been uploaded, for the current one
everything works as previously. Also the old .pwli files will not harm,
just become useless at that time, so if you maintain an ispell dict you
need not to hurry about that.

We would also like to hear from you about the possibility of allowing
building the ispell hashes during package installation. That is
currently done by the ipolish package, and its case is explicitly
mentioned in the policy, since it allows the sysadmin to generate the
hash with different options.

The disadvantage of this system would be a bit larger packages and a bit
longer installation time (timings show that this might not be
significant), as well as losing the extra testing step the autobuilders
provide. The buildhash step is probably the less prone to errors in a
ispell dict building, so probably this last is not important.

The advantage would be to make ispell dict packages doing things this
way 'Architecture: all' and if some sort of intelligent system is
implemented to support this, that each time an ispell package with a
'compatibility level' higher is uploaded all such dicts would be
automagically rebuilt, so incompatibilities in the hash due to new
ispell versions are handled on the fly.

What do you think?

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