[pkg-php-pear] RFP: php-spreadsheet-excel-writer -- PEAR package for generating Excel spreadsheet.

Thomas Goirand thomas at goirand.fr
Sat Nov 19 08:30:30 UTC 2011

On 11/18/2011 06:45 AM, Bekir Dogan wrote:
> Hi;
> We rarely use "pear install" in our company although
> we have many different php and pear projects. Last
> month I was looking for Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer
> (and its OLE dependency) pear package and can't find it.
> I thought Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer is not a so rarely
> used package; and there must be a reason for the lack
> of this package.
> Looked for its package in packages.d.o then wnpp requests
> and found it has an RFP bug (#487557), it was stuck
> because of some licence issues in the past (Nov 2009).
> Is the mentioned problem still exists?


On the RFS, it is mentioned the package is under LGPL. I also had a look
at the source code, and indeed, it's really released under LGPL (there's
the license header on each files). So I don't think there's any
licensing issue here.

> And Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer package is still beta but I found
> other beta pear packages like php-html-safe, php-net-dime,
> php-soap, php-text-captcha, php-xajax, php-xml-serializer, so it
> should not be the reason.

The fact that it's written "beta" doesn't mater. What maters is if the
upstream code is well maintained or not. Unfortunately, that doesn't
seem to be the case. There has been no release since 2009, and there's
57 open bugs. Having open bugs isn't an issue in itself, but having zero
reply from upstream in these bug reports *IS VERY* problematic. On top
of that, we are dealing here with some undocumented output (there's no
specification for the Excel format).

So, if I was you, I would first try to ping upstream author about these
issues, see if he replies, and ask why these bug reports received no
care at all in a so long time.

If these aren't addressed, then I don't think it's reasonable to package
this PEAR module in Debian.

> I am also wondering if there is a general policy about pear packages
> like "we don't encourage making seperate debian packages for every
> single pear package".

There's no such policy at all, and each PEAR module can normally be
packaged as a separate Debian package. But of course, we don't want to
just blindly package very single PEAR module without checking that it's
well maintained upstream, and make sure that the Debian packages will be
well maintained too.

> Else I might be the maintainer for this kind of packages.
> bekir

Do you think you'll have also the ability to maintain upstream source
code as well? If so, then there's no problem having this package in
Debian once all the bugs in the pear.php.net website have at least been


Thomas Goirand (zigo)

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