Re: Debian packaging

From: Christian Holm Christensen <>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 11:48:12 +0200

Hi Richardo,

On Thu, 2005-07-07 at 13:13 -0400, Ricardo Yanez wrote:
> Hi,
> I have myself been packaging ROOT for Debian in my spare time.

A question. You do know that you can make Debian and RPM packages directly from the a CVS checkout or tar-ball, right? All you need to do, is

	make debian 
	make redhat 

If you don't like the way it's done via the Makefile, you can always do it `in-directly', like

	fakeroot debian/rules debian/control

these commands will set up the `debian' directory.

>From what I can tell from your diff file, it seems that you are aware of
this, but you for some reason chose to go in a different direction. Why is that?

I'd like to discourage this kind of dual effort. If you have some problem with the way it's currently done, please write me (as I'm the one that does most of this packaging stuff in the first place) or possibly the list, and we can discuss it. The ROOT team is quite willing to make reasonable modifications to advance system integration.

> ROOT cannot go into Debian due to some of its derived work, specifically
> Minuit and the XClass library.

Not only that. The XClass library is GPL'ed, as far as I know, and hence using that in ROOT with the current licence of ROOT actually violates the GPL.

The exact license of Minuit (not CERNLIB - but Minuit) is actually very restrictive (see I'm not sure how Kevin worked around that one.

> Kevin McCarty may have a simple solution to this. He suggested that Root
> could be compiled against the SEAL project Minuit library, which is LGPL

ROOT does not `link against' Minuit from CERNLIB. ROOT _contains_ a translated version of Minuit. Hence, in so far as this code (and all of ROOT) can be redistributed, the point is mot.

> and the ROOT Team could ask the XClass folks to add a special exception
> to their license, specifically aimed for ROOT. If these two things
> happens, ROOT may go into non-free.

Erhm, no, I don't think so. I'm not a Debian developer, but I did raise the issue with some people on debian-legal (I think) some time ago. Their main concern is he licence of ROOT it self, in particular the line that says:

        Additionally, the authors grant permission to modify this
        software and its documentation for any purpose, provided that
        such modifications are not distributed without the explicit
        consent of the authors and that existing copyright notices are
        retained in all copies. 

The problem is the `explicit consent of the authors', which prohibits free redistribution in packed form - at least that's how it's interpreted by Debian.

> Regarding the poll mentioned by Rene Brun, my comment is that one would
> generally like to have a package for it's own distribution.

I second that. However, some computer centers may want to have one installation for an entire cluster, or may need various versions of ROOT for the whole cluster (dare I mention a shared ALICE/ATLAS tier 1 - ALICE wants a new ROOT - ATLAS wants ROOT version X.YY.ZZ - a mess). These people will not benefit from packages, and should use the tar-balls. Packages are mainly for stand-alone systems, and very heterogeneous systems.

> It eases
> upgrades and makes the system more consistent.

You said it!

> Needless to say, I prefer
> a well maintained Debian package than the tar-ball (hence I packaged
> ROOT for Debian). I guess that remark applies to all distributions.
> If anybody wants to use this Debian packaging, please feel free to do
> so. You can find it in,
> deb unstable root
> deb-src unstable root
> deb unstable root
> deb-src unstable root

I think you should use the normal ROOT Debian packaging stuff at this repository, to not confuse things too much. Anyway, good to see that you are willing to put the packages out there (even though the license technically forbids it :-)


 ___  |  Christian Holm Christensen 
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Received on Fri Jul 08 2005 - 11:48:26 MEST

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