[pkg-boost-devel] Bug#473973: Bug#473973: libboost-python-dev: rdeps fails?to built - python packaging seems weird

Josselin Mouette joss at debian.org
Thu Apr 3 13:03:11 UTC 2008

On mer, 2008-04-02 at 12:04 -0500, Steve M. Robbins wrote:
> The sequence shown in the build log indicates that no python-dev
> package is installed at all.  This is due to another change made to
> support multiple python runtimes.  The libboost-python-dev package
> used to depend on python-dev.  Now that it supports two runtimes, it
> doesn't make sense to depend on both.  Arguably it could depend on the
> default, but what I did instead is weaken the dependencies to suggest.
> This breaks your build because the suggestions are not installed.

I think you should keep the dependency on python-dev. It is very
convenient to provide several versions, but just like modules depend on
python and not python2.4|python2.5, such a development package should
depend on python-dev and not python2.4-dev|python2.5-dev.

> So here are some questions, and I'd like to throw then out to the
> wisdom of debian-python, too.
> 1.  When does the rtupdate script get run?  I assumed it will be run
> upon first install of python so as to configure all the python-using
> packages previously installed.  But that does not seem to be the case.
> Should it be?  If not, how should I handle the situation where
> libboost-python-dev is installed/configured prior to python being
> installed?

You need to run it by hand in the postinst.

> 2.  Prior to supporting multiple runtimes, libboost-python-dev used to
> depend on python2.4-dev.  Now it simply suggests python2.4-dev and
> python2.5-dev since users of this package may need any of the
> currently-supported Python development packages.  It means that some
> (perhaps all) packages that build-depend on libboost-python-dev now
> have to add python2.4-dev to their own build-deps.  Is that tenable?

Yes, definitely. A package that wants to build something against
python2.4 needs python2.4-dev, full stop.

> 4.  For a package that build-depends on libboost-python-dev, what is
> the recommended strategy: to hack the build config and use the -py24
> and -py25 library variants, or to rely on the symlinks and having the
> correct Python installed?  Naively, I'd expect the latter strategy
> for those who simply need to support the default Python version,
> and the former for those who support all Python runtimes.

It is recommended to build packages for all supported python versions
when possible, so that means using the -py2x hack. But the very least is
to be able to rely on symlinks so that the package can be updated to a
new python version only with a binNMU.

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