what compat level for debhelper in jaunty?

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at kitterman.com
Tue Dec 16 11:28:37 GMT 2008

On Tue, 16 Dec 2008 21:35:22 +1100 Robert Collins 
<robertc at robertcollins.net> wrote:
>On Tue, 2008-12-16 at 02:40 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
>> On Tue, 16 Dec 2008 04:52:38 +1100 Robert Collins 
>> <robert.collins at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>> >So debhelper recommends compat level 7; should we be using that in all
>> >new packages in Jaunty? And should we migrate existing packages to
>> >compat level 7 when we touch them for some other reason?
>> No.
>> Compat should be the major version number of Debhelper the package requires 
>> based on its use of Debhelper features.  Compat 7 is only appropriate if 
>> Debhelper 7 features are used.
>man debhelper recommends compat 7; is there some reason not to follow th

As I mentioned, compat goes along with the debhelper major version 
requirment in build-dep.  Using debhelper 7 as the build-dep requirement 
and compat is a 'safe' thing to do as it avoids the risk of inadvertently 
using a debhelper 7 feature and having a backport fail, but as a general 
rule overspecifying the required version is frowned upon as it complicates 
backports and is just not correct.

Getting version requirements correct for package build-dep and depends is 
the right thing to do.  Since we've backported debhelper 7 to 
hardy-backports (and it's also in etch-backports on backports.org), the 
practical effect is small, but in general getting the versions right is the 
best practice and debhelper is no exception.

Note also that you still need to figure which delbhelper 7 version is the 
minimum required for build-dep versioning, so just using 7 does make it 
entirely trivial.  IMO, it's better to just specify it correctly.

Scott K

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