[aur-general] TU application

Sébastien Luttringer seblu at seblu.net
Sat Jul 20 12:53:51 EDT 2013

On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 3:21 PM, Dicebot <public at dicebot.lv> wrote:
> It is nothing of real importance but question is, what harm does
> explicit versioning do?

Interesting question because it underlines some benefits of being a
rolling release for their maintainers.

1) Productivity
You don't need to modify your package deps each time you update it.
You only have to check (most of time, read the changelog).
When upstream check this for you, in a configure or by  providing a
test suite, you could even forget the minimal version check and free
your mind to do interesting things.
Arch maintainers manage a high number of packages, every unnecessary
update is time lost.

2) Correctness
More than avoid unnecessary changes in the update process, it avoid
mistakes (and their fixes).
When upstream doesn't provides minimal deps, it's long (and not easy)
to find which minimal version is really required.

3)  Troublemaker
The version is about a package, *NOT* an upstream source.

I remember a discussion with a Debian developer about opening a bugfix
because the required dep version is badly too high.
A maintainer, wants a lib compiled with an option (e.g. --with-caca),
so he bumps the lib version (e.g. from 1.15-1 to 1.15-2)  and require
it in his package (e.g: from 1.10-1 to 1.15-2).
The old versions (from 1.10 to 1.15 in the previous example) of the
library is working perfectly (if you rebuild the package with the
option --with-caca).
Its happens (sometimes) when you do a backport on Debian.

You don't know, by looking at it, if a required version is due to
upstream or downstream change.

4) Speed
It avoid pacman to checks version for each deps. This save a lot of
useless computing (parsing and comparing two version)[1].
Even if it's not a big deal on last intel processor, this is
noticeable on slow processor (like raspberry pie, alix or soekris).

We can resume these 4 points by saying : It's more simple.

Of course there is drawback for people not updating the whole system.
It's unsupported.


[1] https://projects.archlinux.org/pacman.git/tree/lib/libalpm/version.c#n232

Sébastien "Seblu" Luttringer
GPG: 0x2072D77A

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