Good communication with upstream is good idea

Steve Langasek vorlon at
Sun Jul 20 21:43:13 BST 2008

Hi Neil,

On Sun, Jul 20, 2008 at 05:32:31PM +0100, Neil Williams wrote:
> I ask because emdebian-tools isn't intended for Ubuntu either. See [0] -
> emdebian-tools also depends on server resources provided only by Debian
> (in this case, the package repositories containing compatible packages
> which I can use to generate cross-dependencies).

That doesn't seem particularly Debian-specific, though?  It's not out of the
question that Ubuntu could have an armel port later, and that's the only
thing I can think of that /should/ cause emdebian-tools to be incompatible
with Ubuntu.

> "emdebian-tools is not intended for Ubuntu but I don't have a way of
> encoding that in the package. emdebian-tools is tightly integrated into
> Debian (and Debian unstable in particular) and is, naturally, a Debian
> native package (it was written to support Embedded Debian after all, not
> UbuntuMobile). It isn't intended to work on Ubuntu because Ubuntu does
> not provide the foreign packages needed for linking when cross building,
> those come exclusively from Debian.

So if an armel port of Ubuntu becomes available, is there anything else that
stops emdebian-tools from working with it?

> Same with apt-cross, it is exclusively designed for Debian, Debian mirrors
> and Debian buildd configurations.

How does apt-cross have anything to do with the Debian buildds, at all?
Surely you're not using this as a build-dependency to force Debian
cross-builds on the Debian buildds, are you?

Nor do I see how apt-cross would be affected by differences between a Debian
vs. an Ubuntu mirror.  (Ubuntu main is smaller than Debian main, but is
still self-contained, to be sure.)

> How is emdebian-tools meant to cross-build for ARM on Ubuntu when Ubuntu
> does not provide ARM packages and makes changes to the equivalent Debian
> packages?

Hrm, what changes are at issue here?  The Debian maintainers also make
changes to Debian packages, all the time.  In what way do the Ubuntu changes
differ that makes emdebian-tools incompatible with Ubuntu?

> To me it seems highly unlikely that
> cross versions of Debian packages would install over a Ubuntu base,
> especially when those packages are the typical debootstrap selection
> that have a variety of changes in Ubuntu. I don't run Ubuntu, I have no
> inclination to test for Ubuntu and as no-one else has offered, I cannot
> support Ubuntu."

While the current absence of any official Ubuntu armel port seems like a
pretty good reason to omit emdebian-tools from Ubuntu for the moment, the
fact that the Debian package maintainer or upstream author doesn't support
Ubuntu would not generally be a reason for Ubuntu not to include the
package.  Debian also has any number of upstreams who don't "support"
Debian, after all.

> How many packages could be in this situation? I don't expect it to be
> many. Some form of filter on the Ubuntu side may be necessary.

Yes, there is a blacklist in Ubuntu to prevent certain packages from being
synced from Debian.  Scott Kitterman has already started the process now of
getting emdebian-tools added to that list.

BTW, in your cited blog post, I noticed that you wrote:

> I really don't like Launchpad (I have quite enough web-logins thank you very
> much) or the PTS link that shows Ubuntu bugs that I cannot close from
> Debian.

You can close Launchpad bugs in Ubuntu packages from Debian.  The "LP: ######"
syntax lets bugs get autoclosed when your package is synced to Debian, or
when it's merged by an Ubuntu developer.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                          
slangasek at                                     vorlon at

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