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Re: Parted 1.6.12

From: Steve Langasek
Subject: Re: Parted 1.6.12
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 00:15:32 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040722i


On Fri, Sep 03, 2004 at 04:22:50PM +1000, Andrew Clausen wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 02, 2004 at 09:02:20AM +0200, Sven Luther wrote:
> > I had some discussion with Steve Langasek, one of debian's release manager,
> > about including parted 1.6.12 in sarge. Since parted is ipart of base, and 
> > has
> > thus been frozen since more or less amonth, this cause problem, and we were
> > wondering if your fix could not be backported.

> > Steve (vorlon on irc) suggested : 

> >   08:45 < vorlon> svenl: it looks to me like the parted bug could be
> >   backported w/o ABI breakage by hiding the new geom info in the 
> > arch_specific
> >   member.

> > I have some reservation, given that libparted really has no concept of 
> > hidden
> > data structures, and mostly exports everything, but i suppose that the two 
> > new
> > geom stuff could be added at the end of the structure and still keep 
> > backward
> > compatibility. Not sure though.

> > Do you have any insight on this question ? 

> I agree that putting stuff in arch_specific is "hiding", and you could
> maintain backward compatability using this trick.  It is conceptually
> very ugly, and I don't want to do this work myself.  It would be painful
> for you Debian people to maintain the Parted package like this
> long-term.

> To be honest, I don't see why you can't just recompile packages to use
> 1.6.12.  I doubt there will be any compilation problems.  If there were
> any, they would be minor - things like replacing dev->sectors with
> dev->bios_geom.sectors.  How many packages are we talking about anyway?

> I think this is a time where you need to look at the code and say:
> these are really trivially changes, and aren't going to break anything.
> I think you should be far more concerned with the possibility of new
> bugs in 1.6.12.

Any change that requires an ABI change and a subsequent soname bump and
recompile of all related software is not one that I would call
"trivial".  We are in the late stages of a freeze in preparation for the
next stable release of Debian, and parted is heavily used by our
installer -- which is what makes this particular bug so important at
present, but it also makes a forced recompile awkward and rather

I defer to your expertise when it comes to decisions of what the
libparted ABI should look like in the long term; this particular ABI
change just happens to be particularly ill-timed from our POV.

I'm willing to do the work necessary for a backport, but it seems the
public CVS revision history of libparted is unfortunately rather spotty.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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