[php-maint] Bug#321237: Bug#321237: Please document shortcoming in bundle

sean finney seanius at debian.org
Thu Aug 27 14:49:16 UTC 2009

hi b,

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 08:49:57AM -0400, B Wooster wrote:
> 1) document that php-gd is missing a large number of functions PHP
> users might need

how about you provide a list of what's missing?  this would be very
informative to have.

> 2) would be really great if a php-gd-alternate (or call it unsecure if
> you wish) was built (or a php-with-gd-alternate) was available, so
> users could decide if they want to pick the debian-blessed version, or
> another version. Is there some other debian packager already doing
> this, by any chance? That would be great.

no, and i doubt anyone is that interested.  even if we did, it would be
veto'd by the security and ftp-master teams because debian has a fairly
strict policy/practice of not building against "embedded copies" of
software.  this is not a "religious issue" as you suggest; there is a
sound technical argument why debian as a distribution can't take this

the closest you could get to what you're asking is some kind of way to
hint to debian/rules that you want the embedded copy at buildtime (similar
to what we do already with PHP_COMPAT, or even just use the same variable
if it seems appropriate), and then build the packages yourself from
the source package.

but ultimately the real problem is that the "missing" changes which
provide these features in the "bundled" gd library shipped in PHP never
found their way to the "official" gd sources, which debian uses for libgd.
of course the "official" libgd hasn't seen a new release in closing
on two years, and in fact they've been taken over by the php project
(but still the local php changes have not been synchronized).

there's been a secondary problem of the debian gd maintainer and the
"upstream" gd maintainer (who is a php developer) not getting along very
well, but i'd rather not get caught up in that.

in closing, there are really only two options for moving forward:

1) come up with a list of the missing features/functionality, and ship it
   in README.Debian.  There could also be some instructions for how someone
   could build the php5 packages with the embedded libgd.

2) convince the folks working on libgd (upstream) to roll a new release
   with the missing features synchronized in, and then convince the debian
   maintainer to update to the latest upstream version.  or alternatively
   just identify the fixes and submit them as patches to both upstream and
   the debian maintainer--this will likely move things a bit quicker.

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