ddebs for Kubuntu PPA's

Philip Muskovac yofel at gmx.net
Thu Mar 28 12:29:18 UTC 2013

Let me add a bit of technical background for those that don't know how the 
debug symbol handling in the primary archive works:

There's 2 ways to get debug symbol packages in Ubuntu.

1) The debian way: -dbg packages.
Those are defined in the packages themselves, and in most cases, you get 1 -dbg 
package for the whole source package. e.g. kde-workspace-dbg
They're available in the same location as the usual packages.

2) Ubuntu way: -dbgsym packages (.ddeb)
Those are generated by the primary archive buildd's at build-time for every 
binary package. e.g. libkdecore5-dbgsym
Those auto-generated packages end up on ddebs.ubuntu.com which has to be added 
to the package sources by hand. 
(There is a todo item for adding that to kubuntu-debug-installer)

Now with PPA's, the default behaviour is to only support 1), so packages 
without an explicit -dbg package currently have no debugging symbols in our 
PPA's. e.g. ksnapshot
Not having a -dbg package specified in the packaging has the "advantage" for 
single-binary sources that you don't need any .install files thus reducing 
maintenance workload as Harald pointed out when this last came up.
So we have another todo item on trello which is about creating a pkg-kde-tools 
debhelper plugin for auto-generating a -dbg package during build when one 
doesn't exist [1]
I would really prefert to do *that*, but unless someone steps up to do it (I 
think it needs to be written in perl and/or gnu make) we're left with the -
dbgsym solution for the PPA's which would mean we need at least twice as large 
PPA's than we have now. That's only a problem on the launchpad side though, as 
a user wouldn't notice anything until he actually has to install debugging 

If someone has time and interest in taking care of [1], please let's go with 
that. Otherwise, .ddeb's are the way to go if you realiably want debugging 
symbols for all packages.


[1] https://trello.com/c/ldQhcBbM

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