[Fedora-packaging] Meaning of -devel

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at redhat.com
Fri May 25 19:21:44 UTC 2007

Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-05-25 at 20:01 +0100, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
>> So my question: If I'm packaging ocaml-calendar (a library) then should 
>> the parts which make the above possible go into the main package or 
>> ocaml-calendar-devel?
> We've already determined that OCaml is ... special.

Thanks for your prompt reply!

> Here's the rule of thumb I've always used:
> In the traditional library/binary model:
> The main package is for libraries and components that another binary
> would need to execute. I can't _run_ foo without libbar.so.6 being
> present.
> The -devel package is for headers and components that are needed to
> build that binary. I can't _build_ foo without bar.h being present.
> So, in the OCaml universe, I'd say those .cma files fall into the main
> package, as I can't run _foo_ without those .cma files present.

In fact because OCaml binaries are statically linked to OCaml libraries 
foo doesn't require anything to run.

The *.cma file is a bit more like a *.a file, but as ever the parallels 
aren't precise.

However by the sounds of it, it seems that everything should go in 
-devel.  Is it a problem if the main package is completely empty?

> Note that I know absolutely NOTHING about OCaml besides what you've told
> me.

I've been programming in OCaml nearly exclusively for 4 years, and even 
_I_ don't know all the ins and outs of the various files used.  Mostly 
this stuff just happens.  I had to 'strace' the toplevel running to see 
which files it needed.


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