Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files (was: [gentoo-project] Re: Call For Agenda Items - 13 May 2014)

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files (was: [gentoo-project] Re: Call For Agenda Items - 13 May 2014)

Matti Bickel-2
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On 05/09/2014 04:07 PM, hasufell wrote:
> I ask the council to vote on banning pkg-config files that would
> be added or renamed downstream (at least this will prevent new
> violations).

I want to repeat my stance from the linked bug that making this a
policy or calling on council to add more weight to existing devmanual
bits is adding red tape that from my point of view decreases the
quality of Gentoo. Asking me to remove the pkg-config file for lua-5.2
or removing the modifications to 5.1 will kill support for packages
depending on these files existing.

As long as there's stuff expecting the file to be around, I have a
hard time committing a "fix" that will increase the breakage in the tree.

Let me be clear: once packagers of lua using apps tell me they no
longer need the .pc file for their stuff to work, I'll remove it
promptly or switch to the reduced version you get from calling "make
pc" for lua-5.2.

However, all the linked bugs and commits seem to address the point
that debian *renames* the lua .pc files. You seam to take particular
issue with slotting lua (which requires us to rename them as well).

I'm on the record saying that I don't like this solution. However,
I've made it clear (and the eselect-lua module implements this) that
there's always a lua.pc, liblua.so, etc of the user's chosing. It's
also the only thing we got to resolve the stalemate of lua users
lagging behind releases. If you have better ideas, please let me know.

Since this is a technical matter, please direct further discussion to
the gentoo-dev ML.

Cheers, Matti
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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Markos Chandras-2
Hi,

(please avoid cross-list e-mails in the future if possible. Makes
threading horrible)

On 05/09/2014 07:21 PM, Matti Bickel wrote:

> On 05/09/2014 04:07 PM, hasufell wrote:
>> I ask the council to vote on banning pkg-config files that would
>> be added or renamed downstream (at least this will prevent new
>> violations).
>
> I want to repeat my stance from the linked bug that making this a
> policy or calling on council to add more weight to existing devmanual
> bits is adding red tape that from my point of view decreases the
> quality of Gentoo. Asking me to remove the pkg-config file for lua-5.2
> or removing the modifications to 5.1 will kill support for packages
> depending on these files existing.
> [...]

I was wondering, is there a good reason we keep our own pkgconfig files
instead of communicating that to upstream and resolve that properly?
What other distributions do? Or are we a special case and we need our
own pc files?

--
Regards,
Markos Chandras

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Tom Wijsman-2
On Fri, 09 May 2014 20:57:29 +0100
Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I was wondering, is there a good reason we keep our own pkgconfig
> files instead of communicating that to upstream and resolve that
> properly?

Yes, when your "instead of ..." is not an option.

> What other distributions do? Or are we a special case and
> we need our own pc files?

No, see https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=509392#c23 which reads:

    "You do realize that out of five distros (Fedora, Debian,
    Slackware, SuSe, Mandriva) I checked five ship a .pc file?" by mabi.

--
With kind regards,

Tom Wijsman (TomWij)
Gentoo Developer

E-mail address  : [hidden email]
GPG Public Key  : 6D34E57D
GPG Fingerprint : C165 AF18 AB4C 400B C3D2  ABF0 95B2 1FCD 6D34 E57D

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Markos Chandras-2
On 05/09/2014 09:08 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:
> On Fri, 09 May 2014 20:57:29 +0100
> Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I was wondering, is there a good reason we keep our own pkgconfig
>> files instead of communicating that to upstream and resolve that
>> properly?
>
> Yes, when your "instead of ..." is not an option.

Why not? If the package does not work out of the box then something is
broken upstream? If it works for Debian but not for us then maybe we do
something wrong? Otherwise, if having our own pc files (assuming there
is no abuse here and we touch reverse deps only when really necessary)
why is that a problem?

I fail to understand the problem here.

>
>> What other distributions do? Or are we a special case and
>> we need our own pc files?
>
> No, see https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=509392#c23 which reads:
>
>     "You do realize that out of five distros (Fedora, Debian,
>     Slackware, SuSe, Mandriva) I checked five ship a .pc file?" by mabi.
>

I am not talking about Lua here. It's a more general question.

--
Regards,
Markos Chandras

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Rich Freeman
In reply to this post by Tom Wijsman-2
On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM, Tom Wijsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, 09 May 2014 20:57:29 +0100
> Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I was wondering, is there a good reason we keep our own pkgconfig
>> files instead of communicating that to upstream and resolve that
>> properly?
>
> Yes, when your "instead of ..." is not an option.
>
>> What other distributions do? Or are we a special case and
>> we need our own pc files?
>
> No, see https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=509392#c23 which reads:
>
>     "You do realize that out of five distros (Fedora, Debian,
>     Slackware, SuSe, Mandriva) I checked five ship a .pc file?" by mabi.

I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.  The controversy only exists
when upstream refuses to cooperate (which seems to be the case when
we're one of six distros patching it).  If there are other situations
where we supply our own files please speak up.

When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
a different way...

Rich

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Tom Wijsman-2
In reply to this post by Markos Chandras-2
On Fri, 09 May 2014 21:10:50 +0100
Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 05/09/2014 09:08 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:
> > On Fri, 09 May 2014 20:57:29 +0100
> > Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> I was wondering, is there a good reason we keep our own pkgconfig
> >> files instead of communicating that to upstream and resolve that
> >> properly?
> >
> > Yes, when your "instead of ..." is not an option.
>
> Why not? If the package does not work out of the box then something is
> broken upstream?
Some upstreams don't care about Gentoo's practices like slotting and/or
dynamic linking; similarly, similar practices on other distributions.

> If it works for Debian but not for us then maybe we do something
> wrong?

This mixes two things. It currently works for the Lua maintainers, as
those pkgconfig files are present; just like they are present on Debian.

> >> What other distributions do? Or are we a special case and
> >> we need our own pc files?
> >
> > No, see https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=509392#c23 which
> > reads:
> >
> >     "You do realize that out of five distros (Fedora, Debian,
> >     Slackware, SuSe, Mandriva) I checked five ship a .pc file?" by
> > mabi.
> >
>
> I am not talking about Lua here. It's a more general question.
Ah, I see; it's just that we come from the Lua context background, so
it'll often be used as example. As for in general, we'll indeed need to
investigate what other distributions do; but, Lua is that special case.

--
With kind regards,

Tom Wijsman (TomWij)
Gentoo Developer

E-mail address  : [hidden email]
GPG Public Key  : 6D34E57D
GPG Fingerprint : C165 AF18 AB4C 400B C3D2  ABF0 95B2 1FCD 6D34 E57D

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Tom Wijsman-2
In reply to this post by Rich Freeman
On Fri, 9 May 2014 16:15:58 -0400
Rich Freeman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.

It indeed is, this is the goal; you can force them in multiple ways,
some of which can be found on the Lua bug and previous discussion(s).

> The controversy only exists when upstream refuses to cooperate (which
> seems to be the case when we're one of six distros patching it).  If
> there are other situations where we supply our own files please speak
> up.

Not that I know of; the refusal to cooperate is what this is all about,
see my last response to hwoarang before this mail for a short summary.
Though, I think that the Lua maintainers can explain all the details...

> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
> a different way...

It has always been an issue; we could always use more manpower, ...

https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Contributing_to_Gentoo

--
With kind regards,

Tom Wijsman (TomWij)
Gentoo Developer

E-mail address  : [hidden email]
GPG Public Key  : 6D34E57D
GPG Fingerprint : C165 AF18 AB4C 400B C3D2  ABF0 95B2 1FCD 6D34 E57D

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Markos Chandras-2
On 05/09/2014 09:32 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:

> On Fri, 9 May 2014 16:15:58 -0400
> Rich Freeman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.
>
> It indeed is, this is the goal; you can force them in multiple ways,
> some of which can be found on the Lua bug and previous discussion(s).
>
>> The controversy only exists when upstream refuses to cooperate (which
>> seems to be the case when we're one of six distros patching it).  If
>> there are other situations where we supply our own files please speak
>> up.
>
> Not that I know of; the refusal to cooperate is what this is all about,
> see my last response to hwoarang before this mail for a short summary.
> Though, I think that the Lua maintainers can explain all the details...
>
>> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
>> a different way...
>
> It has always been an issue; we could always use more manpower, ...
>
> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Contributing_to_Gentoo
>

Well to me it feels that gentoo specific .pc files is a similar problem
to any other patch that affects upstream code in order to make the
package compatible with gentoo. Some people may consider downstream pc
files more dangerous because reverse deps are affected. But really, if
there is no other alternative, we shouldn't be treating this as a
special case. We patch upstream packages all the time after all

--
Regards,
Markos Chandras

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Ben de Groot-2
On 10 May 2014 04:34, Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 05/09/2014 09:32 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:
>> On Fri, 9 May 2014 16:15:58 -0400
>> Rich Freeman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.
>>
>> It indeed is, this is the goal; you can force them in multiple ways,
>> some of which can be found on the Lua bug and previous discussion(s).
>>
>>> The controversy only exists when upstream refuses to cooperate (which
>>> seems to be the case when we're one of six distros patching it).  If
>>> there are other situations where we supply our own files please speak
>>> up.
>>
>> Not that I know of; the refusal to cooperate is what this is all about,
>> see my last response to hwoarang before this mail for a short summary.
>> Though, I think that the Lua maintainers can explain all the details...
>>
>>> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
>>> a different way...
>>
>> It has always been an issue; we could always use more manpower, ...
>>
>> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Contributing_to_Gentoo
>>
>
> Well to me it feels that gentoo specific .pc files is a similar problem
> to any other patch that affects upstream code in order to make the
> package compatible with gentoo. Some people may consider downstream pc
> files more dangerous because reverse deps are affected. But really, if
> there is no other alternative, we shouldn't be treating this as a
> special case. We patch upstream packages all the time after all

Exactly. I don't understand why this is an issue at all. Obviously,
if upstream does not ship a .pc file or ships a broken one, we try
to work with upstream to get it fixed on their end. If they are
uncooperative, we fix it on our end.

--
Cheers,

Ben | yngwin
Gentoo developer

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Alexandre Rostovtsev-2
On Sat, 2014-05-10 at 13:50 +0800, Ben de Groot wrote:

> On 10 May 2014 04:34, Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 05/09/2014 09:32 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:
> >> On Fri, 9 May 2014 16:15:58 -0400
> >> Rich Freeman <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.
> >>
> >> It indeed is, this is the goal; you can force them in multiple ways,
> >> some of which can be found on the Lua bug and previous discussion(s).
> >>
> >>> The controversy only exists when upstream refuses to cooperate (which
> >>> seems to be the case when we're one of six distros patching it).  If
> >>> there are other situations where we supply our own files please speak
> >>> up.
> >>
> >> Not that I know of; the refusal to cooperate is what this is all about,
> >> see my last response to hwoarang before this mail for a short summary.
> >> Though, I think that the Lua maintainers can explain all the details...
> >>
> >>> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
> >>> a different way...
> >>
> >> It has always been an issue; we could always use more manpower, ...
> >>
> >> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Contributing_to_Gentoo
> >>
> >
> > Well to me it feels that gentoo specific .pc files is a similar problem
> > to any other patch that affects upstream code in order to make the
> > package compatible with gentoo. Some people may consider downstream pc
> > files more dangerous because reverse deps are affected. But really, if
> > there is no other alternative, we shouldn't be treating this as a
> > special case. We patch upstream packages all the time after all
>
> Exactly. I don't understand why this is an issue at all. Obviously,
> if upstream does not ship a .pc file or ships a broken one, we try
> to work with upstream to get it fixed on their end. If they are
> uncooperative, we fix it on our end.
Adding a pkgconfig file is a bit of a special case. Some distros have a
habit of renaming and creating .pc files for various libraries. But in
Gentoo, almost all pkgconfig files come from upstream with minimal
modification. So a .pc file that is specific to Gentoo is a rare
exception, and it could cause confusion for users who installed Gentoo
on their development machine and who wish to develop new portable
software.

Of course, in the case of Lua, it seems that all other distros are
already providing .pc files, so joining them would seem to be the
correct thing to do (we would simply be recognizing a de facto
standard).

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Markos Chandras-2
On 05/10/2014 07:31 AM, Alexandre Rostovtsev wrote:

> On Sat, 2014-05-10 at 13:50 +0800, Ben de Groot wrote:
>> On 10 May 2014 04:34, Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> On 05/09/2014 09:32 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:
>>>> On Fri, 9 May 2014 16:15:58 -0400
>>>> Rich Freeman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.
>>>>
>>>> It indeed is, this is the goal; you can force them in multiple ways,
>>>> some of which can be found on the Lua bug and previous discussion(s).
>>>>
>>>>> The controversy only exists when upstream refuses to cooperate (which
>>>>> seems to be the case when we're one of six distros patching it).  If
>>>>> there are other situations where we supply our own files please speak
>>>>> up.
>>>>
>>>> Not that I know of; the refusal to cooperate is what this is all about,
>>>> see my last response to hwoarang before this mail for a short summary.
>>>> Though, I think that the Lua maintainers can explain all the details...
>>>>
>>>>> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
>>>>> a different way...
>>>>
>>>> It has always been an issue; we could always use more manpower, ...
>>>>
>>>> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Contributing_to_Gentoo
>>>>
>>>
>>> Well to me it feels that gentoo specific .pc files is a similar problem
>>> to any other patch that affects upstream code in order to make the
>>> package compatible with gentoo. Some people may consider downstream pc
>>> files more dangerous because reverse deps are affected. But really, if
>>> there is no other alternative, we shouldn't be treating this as a
>>> special case. We patch upstream packages all the time after all
>>
>> Exactly. I don't understand why this is an issue at all. Obviously,
>> if upstream does not ship a .pc file or ships a broken one, we try
>> to work with upstream to get it fixed on their end. If they are
>> uncooperative, we fix it on our end.
>
> Adding a pkgconfig file is a bit of a special case. Some distros have a
> habit of renaming and creating .pc files for various libraries.

Isn't this the same thing? If Debian creates/renames upstream pc files,
and you use Debian as a development box, you have the same problem:
Develop software which is not portable across distros.

I have done very limited upstream development myself, but my opinion has
always been that upstream developers who use
Debian/Gentoo/Fedora/$FOOlinux as their dev environment shouldn't care
about distro peculiarities. That's packagers' job, who are responsible
to make the upstream software compatible with each distribution.

 But in
> Gentoo, almost all pkgconfig files come from upstream with minimal
> modification. So a .pc file that is specific to Gentoo is a rare
> exception, and it could cause confusion for users who installed Gentoo
> on their development machine and who wish to develop new portable
> software.

I don't see how this is a bad thing. This actually makes us look good in
the sense that we stick to upstream code as much as possible.

In an ideal world, all distros would be compatible :)


--
Regards,
Markos Chandras

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Samuli Suominen-4

On 10/05/14 12:39, Markos Chandras wrote:

> On 05/10/2014 07:31 AM, Alexandre Rostovtsev wrote:
>> On Sat, 2014-05-10 at 13:50 +0800, Ben de Groot wrote:
>>> On 10 May 2014 04:34, Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>> On 05/09/2014 09:32 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:
>>>>> On Fri, 9 May 2014 16:15:58 -0400
>>>>> Rich Freeman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.
>>>>> It indeed is, this is the goal; you can force them in multiple ways,
>>>>> some of which can be found on the Lua bug and previous discussion(s).
>>>>>
>>>>>> The controversy only exists when upstream refuses to cooperate (which
>>>>>> seems to be the case when we're one of six distros patching it).  If
>>>>>> there are other situations where we supply our own files please speak
>>>>>> up.
>>>>> Not that I know of; the refusal to cooperate is what this is all about,
>>>>> see my last response to hwoarang before this mail for a short summary.
>>>>> Though, I think that the Lua maintainers can explain all the details...
>>>>>
>>>>>> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
>>>>>> a different way...
>>>>> It has always been an issue; we could always use more manpower, ...
>>>>>
>>>>> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Contributing_to_Gentoo
>>>>>
>>>> Well to me it feels that gentoo specific .pc files is a similar problem
>>>> to any other patch that affects upstream code in order to make the
>>>> package compatible with gentoo. Some people may consider downstream pc
>>>> files more dangerous because reverse deps are affected. But really, if
>>>> there is no other alternative, we shouldn't be treating this as a
>>>> special case. We patch upstream packages all the time after all
>>> Exactly. I don't understand why this is an issue at all. Obviously,
>>> if upstream does not ship a .pc file or ships a broken one, we try
>>> to work with upstream to get it fixed on their end. If they are
>>> uncooperative, we fix it on our end.
>> Adding a pkgconfig file is a bit of a special case. Some distros have a
>> habit of renaming and creating .pc files for various libraries.
> Isn't this the same thing? If Debian creates/renames upstream pc files,
> and you use Debian as a development box, you have the same problem:
> Develop software which is not portable across distros.

Say, a package XYZ makes use of xyz.pc and it's distribution specific,
then you switch to a distribution that also ships XYZ but without
pkg-config file,
you can simply...

export FOOBAR_LIBS="-lfoo"
export FOOBAR_CFLAGS="-I/usr/include/foo"
./configure
make
make install

...as pkg-config allows using it without the .pc files by design. This
is an non-issue.

- Samuli

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

hasufell
In reply to this post by Rich Freeman
Rich Freeman:

> On Fri, May 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM, Tom Wijsman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Fri, 09 May 2014 20:57:29 +0100
>> Markos Chandras <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> I was wondering, is there a good reason we keep our own pkgconfig
>>> files instead of communicating that to upstream and resolve that
>>> properly?
>>
>> Yes, when your "instead of ..." is not an option.
>>
>>> What other distributions do? Or are we a special case and
>>> we need our own pc files?
>>
>> No, see https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=509392#c23 which reads:
>>
>>     "You do realize that out of five distros (Fedora, Debian,
>>     Slackware, SuSe, Mandriva) I checked five ship a .pc file?" by mabi.
>
> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.  The controversy only exists
> when upstream refuses to cooperate (which seems to be the case when
> we're one of six distros patching it).  If there are other situations
> where we supply our own files please speak up.
>
> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
> a different way...
>

The fact is... missing pkg-config files are in 99% of the cases all
fixable by fixing the build systems of packages that assume those
pkg-config files... more specific: provide a fallback (I gave enough
links for that in the reponse to the council agenda mail).

This improves portability overall, for upstream, for us, for other
distros and for random users.

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

hasufell
In reply to this post by Markos Chandras-2
Markos Chandras:

> On 05/09/2014 09:32 PM, Tom Wijsman wrote:
>> On Fri, 9 May 2014 16:15:58 -0400
>> Rich Freeman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> I think fixing upstream is a no-brainer.
>>
>> It indeed is, this is the goal; you can force them in multiple ways,
>> some of which can be found on the Lua bug and previous discussion(s).
>>
>>> The controversy only exists when upstream refuses to cooperate (which
>>> seems to be the case when we're one of six distros patching it).  If
>>> there are other situations where we supply our own files please speak
>>> up.
>>
>> Not that I know of; the refusal to cooperate is what this is all about,
>> see my last response to hwoarang before this mail for a short summary.
>> Though, I think that the Lua maintainers can explain all the details...
>>
>>> When the only issue is maintainer laziness I could see fixing that in
>>> a different way...
>>
>> It has always been an issue; we could always use more manpower, ...
>>
>> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Contributing_to_Gentoo
>>
>
> Well to me it feels that gentoo specific .pc files is a similar problem
> to any other patch that affects upstream code in order to make the
> package compatible with gentoo. Some people may consider downstream pc
> files more dangerous because reverse deps are affected. But really, if
> there is no other alternative, we shouldn't be treating this as a
> special case. We patch upstream packages all the time after all
>

I don't agree with that. Pkg-config files are like headers and library
files. They affect code of developers.

If I mess with random configure.ac files in ffmpeg... it doesn't really
affect any1 other than gentoo users in 99% of the cases.

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

hasufell
In reply to this post by Markos Chandras-2
Markos Chandras:

>> Gentoo, almost all pkgconfig files come from upstream with minimal
>> modification. So a .pc file that is specific to Gentoo is a rare
>> exception, and it could cause confusion for users who installed Gentoo
>> on their development machine and who wish to develop new portable
>> software.
>
> I don't see how this is a bad thing. This actually makes us look good in
> the sense that we stick to upstream code as much as possible.
>
> In an ideal world, all distros would be compatible :)
>

Yeah, I was actually under the impression that gentoo is a
"meta-distribution" and therefor takes the pain to maintain a complex
Package Manager Specification amongst other things.

Our philosophy states that our tools "should be a joy to use". If we add
random hackery on stuff that affects portability across distros, then
this doesn't hold true anymore.

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Rich Freeman
On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM, hasufell <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Our philosophy states that our tools "should be a joy to use". If we add
> random hackery on stuff that affects portability across distros, then
> this doesn't hold true anymore.
>

Which one of our tools is at risk of not being a joy to use?  All of
the tools we're talking about here have no origin in Gentoo.

It sounds like the impact is to upstream developers who use Gentoo not
realizing that a library they depend on doesn't actually provide a
pkg-config file across all distros.  How large an issue is this in
practice?  It sounds like somebody will build something which works
fine in their testing, and then somebody will get a compiler error on
some other distro and report it, and then they can take 2min to fix
their build system once and for all.

What solutions do we have?  Obviously we should try to get upstream to
change, but when they don't I don't see a universal policy that makes
sense.

We could ban non-upstream pkg-config files entirely, in which case
build systems that work for every other distro that supplies them may
fail on Gentoo and we need to patch them (and for users building their
own software that hardly sounds like a joy to use).  Or we could force
them to be renamed to gentoo-foo, in which case again build systems
that work fine for every other distro that doesn't do this fail on
Gentoo.  Or we could leave it up to the maintainer, in which case we
basically end up with what we have today.

I could see guidelines, but even those are going to be hazy.  Maybe
recommend using a gentoo prefix on the pkg-config file when we're the
only distro doing something.  However, then we run into the prefix
changing on a later release and then reverse dependencies break.

We could have a USE flag which blocks installation of non-upstream
pkg-config files.  Of course, it might not be practical to use since
anything which depends on the library in question might force it to
not be set so that its own build system can rely on it.  Sure, we
could patch the build system to not require it, but most likely the
build system does require it is that it is common on other distros so
we're the ones standing alone.

So, while I agree that the current state isn't ideal, I'm not sure
that it is any worse than the alternatives.

Rich

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

hasufell
Rich Freeman:
> On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM, hasufell <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Our philosophy states that our tools "should be a joy to use". If we add
>> random hackery on stuff that affects portability across distros, then
>> this doesn't hold true anymore.
>>
>
> Which one of our tools is at risk of not being a joy to use?

Gentoo in general as a _development platform_. I'v also seen people
arguing "this library isn't used by any package, let's remove it". Not.
A. Reason.

>
> It sounds like the impact is to upstream developers who use Gentoo not
> realizing that a library they depend on doesn't actually provide a
> pkg-config file across all distros.  How large an issue is this in
> practice?  It sounds like somebody will build something which works
> fine in their testing, and then somebody will get a compiler error on
> some other distro and report it, and then they can take 2min to fix
> their build system once and for all.
>

The impact is on users as well if they try to build software with a
broken build system.

> What solutions do we have?  Obviously we should try to get upstream to
> change, but when they don't I don't see a universal policy that makes
> sense.
>

We are effectively spreading the philosophy of modifying interfaces,
libraries, headers and other things that are not trivial (and with one
of the pkgconfig file additions in lua... we also got a library rename
that breaks dlopen. So this is just the first step.).
This has at first almost no effect on others, but for us, get's a lot of
"shit" done.
Longterm, this makes it year after year more difficult to develop
software for "Linux". Instead (like valve), people start to develop for
certain distros only (like Ubuntu), because it's just too much work to
bother with all this hackery-here-hackery-there-incompatible-here
things. Maybe also a reason they start to bundle all libraries for every
single game (among the convenience factor), effectively decreasing
security overall.


> So, while I agree that the current state isn't ideal, I'm not sure
> that it is any worse than the alternatives.
>

As described above, it is definitely worse.

TBH, I don't want to be part of a "get shit done" distro. I could simply
switch to debian then and do all the funny "lolpatches".

I was hoping that QA is the authority that separates "get bugs fixed"
from "get shit done".

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Rich Freeman
On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM, hasufell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Longterm, this makes it year after year more difficult to develop
> software for "Linux". Instead (like valve), people start to develop for
> certain distros only (like Ubuntu), because it's just too much work to
> bother with all this hackery-here-hackery-there-incompatible-here
> things. Maybe also a reason they start to bundle all libraries for every
> single game (among the convenience factor), effectively decreasing
> security overall.

I'm with you here, but what is the solution?

If we say we stick to upstream then we don't provide pkg-config files
at all (in these cases).  Then when Debian does the other upstreams
use them and then those packages break on Gentoo.  People are still
going to target their favorite distro no matter what we do.

The only people with the power to break the distro-targeting behavior
are the maintainers of the upstream packages.  The linux kernel
maintains a few stable branches with well-defined support periods, and
as a result you can bet that just about any distro is going to be on
one of them.  Few other projects take this kind of care.  Indeed, some
upstreams can't be bothered to change their SONAME when their ABI
changes.

You could try to get distros to come together, but that tends not to
work either.  The minor distros all have lots of incentive to do this,
but nobody cares about targeting them.  The really big distros don't
have incentive to play along, because they can just tell everybody
that if their software breaks on their distro it is their problem.
Then you have companies like RedHat which want to differentiate
themselves so the last thing they want is to make other distros as
robust, and to be fair they don't want to do the integration work only
to have others mooch.

So, in your mind what would a sane policy look like?  Should packages
like lua not provide pkg-config files even though apparently every
other distro does?  If so, where do we draw the line?  Do we follow
some particular distro like Debian?  Do we list 4 distros and allow
the file if 3/4 use it?  If we don't allow a pkg-config in general can
maintainers still have a "gentoo-foo" file?

If we want a firm policy then there needs to be a proposal for one
that makes sense.  Otherwise the council is 95% likely to just say "we
recommend that maintainers use care when creating pkg-config files but
we leave it to their discretion," because that is the only thing that
makes any sense when you can't come up with a rule that makes sense.

Rich

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

hasufell
Sure, this is a more complex problem.

My point is, for pkg-config files it is relatively easy to fix stuff
that depends on non-standard files (I can write a devmanual section
about that, but err... this is really trivial). The amount of these
downstream pkg-config files is not as big as you might think (yet). So
just saying "no" to all new downstream additions will not cause a big
explosion and thousands of packages failing to build. Look at the
tracker, it's just a few we know of. Cmake is mostly not affected,
autotools is often complex enough to still find the libs, Makefiles need
a one-line patch. And, by the time we discover more, we can work towards
removing them.

It will raise awareness about this problem and about the fact that
distros like debian tend to do it the lazy way.
So it is a pretty easy way to improve portability across distros and so on.

We shouldn't do things wrong just because they didn't blow up in our
face yet.

I am confused why this gets so much attention. The additional workload
is really minor. So, not allowing this makes sense to me.
For exotic exceptions and corner cases, we can still bend the rules.
But, "debian does it too" is not one.

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Re: Banning modification of pkg-config files

Peter Stuge-4
In reply to this post by Rich Freeman
Rich Freeman wrote:
> > Longterm, this makes it year after year more difficult to develop
> > software for "Linux".
>
> I'm with you here, but what is the solution?
>
> If we say we stick to upstream then we don't provide pkg-config files
> at all (in these cases).

I think this is a sane default.


> Then when Debian does the other upstreams use them and then those
> packages break on Gentoo.

I like Gentoo to stay very close to upstream.

If upstream pkg A depends on $distro-specific foo of pkg B then that
will obviously not work in an environment only following upstreams,
and will require effort to untie gentoo pkg A from $distro specifics.

As has been said, that's ultimately a portability problem of A, which
becomes the maintainer's problem when creating gentoo pkg A.

This will mean that some unportable upstreams cannot be packaged for
Gentoo without fixing their bugs first. If they don't consider this a
bug then they are making a bad decision and sadly the Gentoo
maintainer sortof has to live with that. :\

I don't think it's fair to force a Gentoo maintainer to do any
specific thing here. If a Gentoo maintainer is willing to untie
unhelpful upstreams from their own bugs for the benefit of Gentoo
then that's fantastic, even if upstreams don't understand so.

But I don't think it's reasonable to *require* from Gentoo maintainers.

If I were looking at a bug which asks to create an ebuild from an
upstream which has a $distro-specific bugtie then I might as well
close it as WONTFIX as long as the upstream don't fix their problem.

But I would equally welcome anyone else to reopen the Gentoo bug if
they had untied the bugtie.


//Peter

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