[Fedora-packaging] Meaning of -devel

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at redhat.com
Fri May 25 21:10:12 UTC 2007

Toshio Kuratomi wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-05-25 at 20:21 +0100, Richard W.M. Jones wrote:
>> Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
>>> 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.
> You have an interesting case here.  Like spot, I lean towards the *.cma
> files being available from the main (non-devel) package as the toplevel
> and interpreted OCaml scripts won't run without them.  They are loadable
> modules in this sense.

Of course I'd completely forgotten about OCaml scripts ...  They're not 
used very often, but they are an argument for putting the *.cma and 
*.cmi files into the main package.

Here's an example of an OCaml script, albeit one which in this case 
doesn't use any external libraries (but in general they can do):


> The fact that they are also included statically in compiled OCaml
> programs seems to be a red herring for this decision but I'm sure their
> dual nature will raise other interesting issues later.

After playing around with strace, I'm pretty sure that it's safe just to 
put the *.cma, *.cmi and *.so files (if present) into the main package, 
to get the toplevel and scripts working.

That is what I did in these spec files:



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