[Python-modules-team] SAGE packages for Debian (fwd)

Timothy G Abbott tabbott at MIT.EDU
Thu May 8 02:06:24 UTC 2008

As described in more detail in my email below, I've been working on 
packaging SAGE, which provides an excellent ipython-based interface to 
numerous free software mathematics libraries, and its 26 dependencies not 
yet in Debian for Debian.  At this point, I am looking for Debian 
developers to maintain those dependencies that are useful outside SAGE.

It was pointed out that the scipy sandbox packages python-arpack (#480076) 
and python-delaunay (#480071) that I've debianized as part of my effort to 
Debianize SAGE (details below) are probably best maintained by the people 
who maintain python-scipy in Debian, especially since it sounds like 
arpack and delaunay are going to be merged into mainline scipy at some 
point in time:


Would the Debian Python Modules Team be willing to maintain these packages 
from the scipy sandbox?  My draft source packages are available from my 
repository at:


The python-delaunay package should be essentially ready to upload (though 
I'm sure you'll want to check over my work before adopting it; the 
Description needs work), while the python-arpack package has some lintian 
warnings that I somehow missed.

Another python module that I've Debianized as part of this effort is 
polybori (#480077).  It is lintian-clean modulo trivial fixes, though the 
rules file is a bit messy because of the issues involved in using scons to 
build their packages for several python versions.  My draft packaging of a 
polybori release coming out in the next week (which fixes for all the 
upstream problems that I found packaging it) is available in my repository 


So, if anyone's interested in maintaining polybori (or, for that matter, 
any of the other packages whose RFP bugs are blocking #455292) for Debian, 
I'd appreciate the help.

 	-Tim Abbott

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 6 May 2008 02:44:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Timothy G Abbott <tabbott at MIT.EDU>
To: debian-devel at lists.debian.org
Resent-From: debian-devel at lists.debian.org
X-Spam-Score: -8
Subject: SAGE packages for Debian

I've been working on packaging for Debian SAGE (http://sagemath.org), a large 
free mathematics software conglomeration that is competing with proprietary 
mathematical software systems such as Mathematica, Matlab, Maple, and Magma 
(Debian bug #455292).

This has been a rather large effort because a major contribution of SAGE is 
providing an excellent ipython-base interface to a number of other free 
software mathematics libraries; the SAGE distribution comes with some 71 
dependencies, of which only around 2/3 are available in Debian already.

I currently have a working apt repository from which one can "apt-get install 
sagemath" (some details on the repository are available at 
<http://wiki.sagemath.org/DebianSAGE>) with some 26 source packages in it that 
I created for the SAGE dependencies.  The repository also contains modified 
versions of various Debian packages with quick workarounds for bugs #472392, 
#474080, #474083, #459200.

The packages are tested to the extent that I have run a full set of SAGE 
doctests against them with two different SAGE releases, and they largely seem 
to work (though there are definitely a number of bugs remaining).

However, while it is nice to have a repository that people who want to use SAGE 
can add to their sources.list, it would be far better for SAGE to be available 
in Debian (I think having SAGE packages ready for lenny is a reasonable goal). 
The primary problem that makes my packages potentially unsuitable for uploading 
to Debian now is many of them may violate Debian library policy:
- shared libraries whose soname is 0.0.0 (suggesting the upstream may not 
actually be doing versioning)
- static libraries compiled with -fPIC (something strongly discouraged in the 
library packaging guide)
- shared libraries that don't have versioning at all (clearly a bug)

For the shared libraries that are missing sonames entirely, I am in contact 
with the upstream developers and they are working on getting some sort of 
shared library versioning implemented (the SAGE developers are very supportive 
of this effort and have offered to help the upstream developers with some of 
these library versioning issues).

Below I list new source packages categorized by roughly how ready they are for 
being uploaded to the Debian archive.  Many of them have 
"description-contains-homepage" and "out-of-date-standards-version 3.7.2" 
lintian warnings because I wrote most of the control files on etch, and several 
have slightly more serious "binary-without-manpage" warnings.

The secondary problem with getting these 26 source packages into Debian is that 
I simply don't have the time to responsibly maintain 26 source packages in 
Debian.  So, I'm looking for people and teams in Debian to adopt some of these 
SAGE dependencies and upload them in time for Lenny.

My guess is the right Debian protocol for coordinating this is for me to file 
RFP bugs for all the packages below, linking in each to my existing draft 
packaging and mark those RFP bugs as all blocking #455292.  But I'd appreciate 
feedback on this plan before I file 26 bug reports.

If you're interested in helping maintain SAGE and its dependencies in Debian, 
you should join us on the sage-debian at googlegroups.com mailing list (I have no 
objection to eventually migrating to a lists.debian.org list in the future, but 
that's what we've been using thus far).

Any feedback or suggestions would also be greatly appreciated.

 	-Tim Abbott

Packages with no problems worse than missing man pages:
python-arpack (from the scipy sandbox)
python-delaunay (from the scipy sandbox)
gfan [but depends on cddlib, see below]

Packages with suspicious 0.0.0 sonames:
libm4ri [also needs description]

Packages with no shared library whose static library is compiled with -fPIC

Packages that have clear library policy issues:
eclib [no soname]
flint [no soname]
libzn-poly [no soname, though I've sent a patch for this upstream]
ntl [no soname, though I've sent a patch for this upstream]
singular [no soname]

Packages that have other oustanding issues:
guava [binaries under /usr/share/gap; also many lintian warnings will be fixed 
in the 3.5 upstream release]
sagemath [numerous isuses]

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