kiwix upstream tarball confusion

Mike Gabriel mike.gabriel at
Thu Sep 6 06:51:04 UTC 2012

Hi Emmanuel,

On Mi 05 Sep 2012 17:53:06 CEST Emmanuel Engelhart wrote:

> Hi Mike
> Le 02/09/2012 11:49, Mike Gabriel a écrit :
>> Hi Kelson, hi Renauld,
>> Vasudev made me aware of a new 0.9~rc1 release of kiwix and that there
>> are multiple tarballs around with the same version number.
>> I downloaded three src tarballs of 0.9~rc1 (resp. 0.9-r1):
>> 1.
>> 2.
>> 3. ... and kiwix-0.9-rc1-src.tar.gz found here:
>> I downloaded all three of them and the one with -debian in its file name
>> seems to be different:
>> 13c9567f331e487679ce0cabc26ae9fd  kiwix-0.9~rc1-debian.tar.gz
>> 49ab5738b963939d94ecbb6b19b659d8  kiwix-0.9-rc1-src-sf.tar.gz
>> 49ab5738b963939d94ecbb6b19b659d8  kiwix-0.9-rc1-src.tar.gz
>> So my main question is: what is the difference between
>> kiwix-0.9~rc1-debian.tar.gz and kiwix-0.9-rc1-src.tar.gz and what is
>> your motivation to release two tarballs of the same version name.
> We made a Debian version because the Debian contraints on the src.tgz
> file made it not anymore compilable without running automake. We do not
> want do distribute src.tgz which needs automake.

Ok, I understand that. So, from the packaging point of view (and that  
is not Debian but any distro, I guess) the optimal/pure/most-generic  
tarball is the one that requires automake during the build process.

The one with automake generated files provided is a more specific  
version of the tarball, so I might guess that there should be the  
opposite naming scheme:

   kiwix-0.9~rc1.tar.gz -> the tarball that needs automake
   kiwix-0.9~rc1-<prefconfigured>.tar.gz -> where <preconfigured> stands for
     automake not being necessary anymore.

Any other word than <preconfigured> might work well.

Note: most distributions will expect a tarball that is not  
preconfigured by automake, so I strongly recommend providing that  
tarball under the more general name.

> The result was in that case:
> kiwix-0.9~rc1-debian.tar.gz
>> And... Unfortunately, I guess, this is not how things work on the Debian
>> side. For a Debian package maintainer, there can only be one tarball
>> named 0.9-/~rc1. (We in Debian prefer the "~" as a delimiter between the
>> upcoming version and ~rcX, ~betaY, ~alphaZ, but that is not crucial here.)
> Which name should be chosen?

See above.

>> So my request is, please help me clarifying this tarball confusion
>> issue. For Debian packaging we rely on you releasing one tarball with
>> one version. Another tarball has to be named with another version.
> Hmm... looks like we have an issue there.
>> We cannot package any new upstream releases for Debian until we have
>> some clarity on the upstream release workflow.
> What do you propose taking in consideration my last explanations.

Switching names of the tarballs and giving the preconfigured tarball  
an add-on string in the filename.

>> PS: and what a pity that Ubuntu refuses to build libxul-based
>> applications at the moment:
> Yes, this is a known issue. That's also the reason why we have stopped
> to pushed the last released to our PPA. We have a project in the
> beginning of 2013 to remove the dependence to xulrunner and compile
> directly against Mozilla source code.

I may speak out a warning here in advance... Please make sure that we  
(as packagers) do not have to copy the mozilla source tree into the  
package in order to be able to build kiwix. That will lead to issues  
with Debian policy as it ends up in duplication of a huge code tree  
within Debian (see Debian policy 4.13[1] and esp. the footnote (30)  
referenced in that paragraph[2]).

> Regards
> Emmanuel




mike gabriel, rothenstein 5, 24214 neudorf-bornstein
fon: +49 (1520) 1976 148

GnuPG Key ID 0x25771B31
mail: mike.gabriel at,

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