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Misadventures in GUI package-building

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 1, 2011 4:40 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313)
Parent article: Misadventures in GUI package-building

unless you have a GUI compiler interface, why is it such a big deal to have a GUI package builder?

how does the actual functionality of these GUI tools compare to the command line tools? especially ones that support both .rpm and .deb packages (I know of checkinstall, but I assume there are others as well)


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Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 1, 2011 6:31 UTC (Thu) by tajyrink (subscriber, #2750) [Link]

Well, people do use Qt Creator and other IDE:s. But yes, without GUI compiler interface it's not that interesting to have a GUI package builder.

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 1, 2011 13:16 UTC (Thu) by n8willis (subscriber, #43041) [Link]

Reading the tea leaves, my impression is that people make these apps for people who *just* want to work on packaging. Or, that are just going to work on packaging for particular packages (i.e., they may still develop other code, but they maintain several packages). Numbers seem to indicate that the average Debian maintainer has lots of packages to juggle -- so I think that's one perceived need, in addition to lowering the barrier-to-entry.

Nate

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 1, 2011 22:56 UTC (Thu) by daglwn (guest, #65432) [Link]

I'd like to know how good checkinstall is at creating "real" packages. For example, do the packages it creates conform to the Debian packaging guidelines? Does it produce something at least close to being uploadable?

As a packaging newbie, I do indeed find the whole process somewhat intimidating. It would help to know that some tool out there can at least point me in the right direction. I just want to write software. Packaging it is a necessary but undesirable task. Anything to automate it is a godsend.

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 1, 2011 23:04 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

checkinstall isn't trying to make a package comply with the guidelines, it takes an application that installs itself via make && make install and creates a .deb that you can then install in a debian system.

It leaves it up to you to do things like set dependancies, configure the application to put files in the right directories, create pre/post install scripts to do cleanup and gracefully handle upgrades, etc.

it gives you a menu to set the .deb metadata, but it doesn't configure or build the package, it just watches what gets installed in the system when you do make install and creates a .deb package that will have the same result.

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 1, 2011 23:06 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

oh yes, and it also allows you to make .rpm and slackware packages as well

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 2, 2011 16:17 UTC (Fri) by daglwn (guest, #65432) [Link]

So if I'm understanding this correctly, there's no easy way to "edit" the package to make it uploadable as the control files don't exist anywhere except in the package itself.

I suppose I could unpack the package, grab the control files and put them in the source repository. That would give me some sort of start. But ultimately I will have to use the official Debian tools to create a real package.

Is that right?

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 2, 2011 18:57 UTC (Fri) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

the control files do exist on the filesystem after you run checkinstall, so you don't have to open the package to get at them.

I'm not really sure what you consider a "real package" that you need the official debian tools to create. can you expand on what the requirements are for a "real package"

I am saying that I don't think you can just run checkinstall on an arbitrary source tree and consider the result ready to be uploaded to the debian archives

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 2, 2011 20:48 UTC (Fri) by daglwn (guest, #65432) [Link]

> the control files do exist on the filesystem after you run checkinstall, so you don't have to open the package to get at them.

Cool. That makes things easier.

> I'm not really sure what you consider a "real package" that you need the official debian tools to create. can you expand on what the requirements are for a "real package"

One that is uploadable to the archive.

> I am saying that I don't think you can just run checkinstall on an arbitrary source tree and consider the result ready to be uploaded to the debian archives

Right. That's what I was trying to get at and it's the answer I expected. But at least it provides a starting point.

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 2, 2011 21:27 UTC (Fri) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

if you consider that the package would need to be different for each different distro (and likely for different releases of the same distro), I don't know how any packaging tool could reach the point of 'run it and upload it to the distro repository'

for that matter, I would have assumed that the distros don't take binary uploads anyway. shouldn't they all be setup where you upload the source and a series of instructions and their build servers create the binary packages for each of their several target architectures?

there is not as much variation in distros that accept .deb packages, but if you look at all the distros that use .rpm packages, the number of things that would be different from one to the other seems like it would be very significant, and a lot of it would be things that a packaging tool would not know about (what the the correct version of gcc to use, etc)

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 7, 2011 11:45 UTC (Wed) by robbe (subscriber, #16131) [Link]

> if you consider that the package would need to be different for each different distro [...]
I can imagine a profile-based solution. But it'd probably be much maintenance work for little gain.

> for that matter, I would have assumed that the distros don't take binary uploads anyway.
Debian used to take source+binary uploads. There has been discussion to switch to source-only uploads, but the risk of maintainers not even compile-testing revisions that supposedly contained only trivial fixes was deemed too high. So the current regime, AFAIK, is to requier source+binary, but throw away the binary.

Misadventures in GUI package-building

Posted Sep 6, 2011 14:58 UTC (Tue) by jeremiah (subscriber, #1221) [Link]

As a packaging newbie you have an unfortunate handle for LWN. :)

http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/

I'd had it in my head that you were that Dag, until I read this post. :)

No insult or anything intended, just made me laugh at the irony.


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