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Re: build profiles and functional differences

Quoting Simon McVittie (2018-01-09 17:42:04)
> On Tue, 09 Jan 2018 at 15:40:04 +0000, Wookey wrote:
> > On 2018-01-09 15:07 +0100, Johannes Schauer wrote:
> > > Thus, we keep packages built with a different build profile but the same
> > > name/version/arcitecture bit-by-bit identical to each other.
> > However we do have 'nodoc', which can't possibly produce bit-by-bit
> > identical packages (unless the docs are in a separate package) so I
> > don't see how it can be right to say "packages built with a different
> > build profile but the same name/version/arcitecture are bit-by-bit
> > identical to each other".
> The policy on the wiki is phrased in terms of no functional differences,
> and ideally no differences at all. Missing some man pages is a difference,
> but hopefully not one that matters when satisfying dependencies.
> (One interesting example of documentation being a functional
> difference is that it's *technically* not right to omit gtk-doc
> documentation from a package under the nodoc build profile, because
> other packages with Build-Depends-Indep on that documentation can use
> it to rewrite cross-references from web links into relative local file
> references. Luckily most libraries that are documented with gtk-doc
> build a separate -doc package for other reasons anyway, so that
> package can easily be marked Build-Profiles: <!nodoc>.)

If you look at the table at [1] then you will see that there are exactly four
profile names that allow changes. The pkg.$source.$foo namespace where any kind
of change is allowed and the stage1, stage2 and nodoc profiles where changes
are limited to non-functional changes. The nodoc profile is interesting here
because when we talk about not making "functional" changes to packages, then
this is because we don't want to break assumptions made by other packages
depending on it. As by policy §12.3, removing (or changing) content from
/usr/share/doc should always be fine:

 | Packages must not require the existence of any files in /usr/share/doc/ in
 | order to function. [6] Any files that are used or read by programs but are
 | also useful as stand alone documentation should be installed elsewhere, such
 | as under /usr/share/package/, and then included via symbolic links in
 | /usr/share/doc/package.

So by that logic gtk-doc documentation should be put into /usr/share/package
because it is "read by programs" to rewrite cross-references from web links as
you say.

When we we added this exception to the nodoc profile, we thought that given
this policy paragraph, it logically followed that we could allow non-functional
changes here. This exception is indeed interesting and I guess it's debatable
whether generating "cross-references" counts as something a package needs "in
order to function" such that it falls under this "must" clause of Debian

But I'll leave figuring this out to somebody else. :)


cheers, josch

[1] https://wiki.debian.org/BuildProfileSpec#Registered_profile_names

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