[Pkg-gpe-maintainers] Bug#620444: libcontactsdb: please clean out dependency_libs

Neil Williams codehelp at debian.org
Sun Apr 3 10:16:06 UTC 2011

retitle 620444 Drop .la file and .a file (Policy 10.2)
severity 620444 minor

On Fri, 01 Apr 2011 15:20:26 -0700
Evan Broder <evan at ebroder.net> wrote:

> Package: libcontactsdb
> Version: 0.5-4
> Severity: normal
> Tags: patch

OK, I've found the information I was looking for [0] on the previous
release goal relating to .la files and, as I thought, the .la file (and
the .a) need to be removed form libcontactsdb rather than simply
blanking out a part of the .la file.

> I've just applied the attached patch to libcontactsdb in Ubuntu to
> empty out the dependency_libs field in the libtool .la file being
> shipped in the -dev package. This is generally a good idea because it
> avoids causing consumers of your library to require the .la files
> listed to be available when they're not actually needed (i.e., in the
> common case of dynamic linking). It will also cause problems in the
> near future because multiarch is landing soon, which will cause the
> ..la files referenced by libcontactsdb to move, which would cause build
> failures for anything linking against libcontactsdb. This change will
> require a rebuild of libcontactsdb anyway in order to update the paths
> in the .la file, so it's a great opportunity to just wipe out
> dependency_libs entirely.

I've no objection to this being a GoodThing (see [1]) but the method
used by Ubuntu just doesn't match the original release goal for Debian.

This was something I planned to do a long time ago (before the Squeeze
freeze) and the lack of a bug report (or lintian warning) meant that it
didn't get looked at when I did refresh the package for the
binutils_gold issue.

We need some more joined-up-thinking here - including a full review of
the original Debian release goal, completion of the original MBF and a
collective effort to finish the task instead of a piece-meal set of
incomplete patches from Ubuntu which mask the actual issue by using a
single method (sed on dependency_libs) on all packages. 

[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2010/05/msg00014.html

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2009/08/msg00808.html


Neil Williams

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