Looking for self-hosted filesharing software

categories: blog, debian

The owncloud package was removed from Debian unstable and testing. I am thus now looking for an alternative. Unfortunately, finding such replacement seems to be harder than I initially thought, even though I only use a very small subset of what owncloud provides. What I require is some software which allows me to:

  1. upload a directory of files of any type to my server (no "distributed" filesharing where I have to stay online with my laptop)
  2. share the content of that directory via HTTP (no requirement to install any additional software other than a web browser)
  3. let the share-links be private (no possibility to infer the location of other shares)
  4. allow users to browse that directory (image thumbnails or a photo gallery would be nice)
  5. allow me to allow anonymous users to upload their own content into that directory (also only requiring their web browser)
  6. already in Debian or easy to package and maintain due to low complexity (I don't have enough time to become the next "owncloud maintainer")

I thought this was a pretty simple task to solve but I am unable to find any software that fits above criteria.

The below table shows the result of my research of what's currently available. The columns mark whether the respective software fulfills one of the six criteria from above.

Software 123456
git annex assistant

Pydio, seafile and sandstorm.io look promising but they seem to be beasts similar in complexity to owncloud as they bring features like version tracking, office integration, wikis, synchronization across multiple devices or online editing of files which are features that I do not need.

I would already be very happy if there was a script which would make it easy to create a hard-to-guess symlink to a directory with data tracked by git annex under my www-root and then generate some static HTML to provide a thumbnails view or a photo gallery. Unfortunately, even that solution would not be sufficient as it would still disallow public upload by anybody whom I would give the link to...

If you know some software that meets my criteria or would like to submit corrections to above table, please shoot an email to josch@debian.org. Thanks!

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I became a Debian Developer

categories: blog, debian

Thanks to akira for the confetti to celebrate the occasion!

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port bootstrap build-ordering tool report 4

categories: blog

A copy of this post is sent to soc-coordination@lists.alioth.debian.org as well as to debian-bootstrap@lists.mister-muffin.de.


July 2

  • playing around with syntactic dependency graphs and how to use them to flatten dependencies

July 4

  • make work with dose 3.0.2
  • add linux-amd64 to source architectures
  • remove printing in build_compile_rounds
  • catch Not_found exception and print warning
  • use the whole installation set in crosseverything.ml instead of flattened dependencies
  • detect infinite loop and quit in crosseverything.ml
  • use globbing in _tags file
  • use wildcards and patsubst in makefile

July 5

  • throw a warning if there exist binary packages without source packages
  • add string_of_list and string_of_pkglist and adapt print_pkg_list and print_pkg_list_full to use them
  • fix and extend flatten_deps - now also tested with Debian Sid

July 6

  • do not exclude the crosscompiled packages from being compiled in crosseverything.ml
  • clean up basebuildsystem.ml, remove old code, use BootstrapCommon code
  • clean up basenocycles.ml, remove unused code and commented out code
  • add option to print statistics about the generated dependency graph
  • implement most_needed_fast_wrong as well as most_needed_slow_correct and make both available through the menu

July 7

  • allow to investigate all scc, not only the full graph and the scc containing the investigated package
  • handle Not_found in src_list_from_bin_list with warning message
  • handle the event of the whole archive actually being buildable
  • replace raise Failure with failwith
  • handle incorrectly typed package names
  • add first version of reduced_dist.ml to create a self-contained mini distribution out of a big one

July 8

  • add script to quickly check for binary packages without source package
  • make Debian Sid default in makefile
  • add *.d.byte files to .gitignore
  • README is helpful now
  • more pattern matching and recursiveness everywhere

July 9

  • fix termination condition of reduced_dist.ml
  • have precise as default ubuntu distribution
  • do not allow to investigate an already installable package

July 10

  • milestone: show all cycles in a graph
  • add copyright info (LGPL3+)

July 11

  • advice to use dose tools in README

July 16

  • write apt_pkg based python filter script replacing grep-dctrl

July 17

  • use Depsolver.listcheck more often
  • add dist_graph.ml
  • refactor dependency graph code into its own module

July 18

  • improve package selection for reduced_dist.ml
  • improve performance of cycle enumeration code

July 20

  • implement buildprofile support into dose3

July 22

  • let dist_graph.ml use commandline arguments

July 23

  • allow dose3 to generate source package lists without Build-{Depends|Conflicts}-Indep

July 29

  • implement crosscompile support into dose3



There is not yet a writeup on how everything works and how all the pieces of the code work together but the current README file provides a short introduction on how to use the tools.

  • build and runtime dependencies
  • compile instructions
  • execution examples for each program
  • step by step guide how to analyze the dependency situation
  • explanation of general commandline options

A detailed writeup about the inner workings of everything will be part of a final documentation stage.


All my code is now released under the terms of the LGPL either version 3, or (at your option) any later version. A special linking exception is made to the license which can be read at the top of the provided COPYING file. The exception is necessary because Ocaml links statically, which means that without that exception, the conditions of distribution would basically equal GPL3+.


Especially the Debian archive is huge and one might want to work on a reduced selection of packages first. Having a smaller selection of the archive would be significantly faster and would also not add thousands of packages that are not important for an extended base system.

I call a reduced distribution a set of source packages A and a set of binary packages B which fulfill the following three properties:

  • all source packages A must be buildable with only binary packages B being available
  • all binary packages B except for architecture:all packages must be buildable from source packages A

The set of binary packages B and source packages A can be retrieved using the reduced_dist program. It allows to either build the most minimal reduced distribution or one that includes a certain package selection.

To filter out the package control stanzas for a reduced distribution from a full distribution, I originally used a call to grep-dctrl but later replaced that by a custom python script called filter-packages.py. This script uses python-apt to filter Packages and Sources files for a certain package selection.


It soon became obvious that there were not many independent dependency cycle situation but just one big scc that would contain 96% of the packages that are involved in build dependency cycles. Therefor it made sense to write a program that does not iteratively build the dependency graph starting from a single package, but which builds a dependency graph for a whole archive.


I can now enumerate all cycles in the dependency graph. I covered the theoretical part in another blog post and wrote an email about the achievement to the list. Both resources contain more links to the respective sourcecode.

The dependency graph generated for Debian Sid has 39486 vertices. It has only one central scc with 1027 vertices and only eight other scc with 2 to 7 vertices. All the other source and binary packages in the dependency graph for the archive are degenerate components of length one.

Obtaining the attached result took 4 hours on my machine (Core i5 @ 2.53GHz). 1.5 h of that were needed to build the dependency graph, the other 2.5 hours were needed to run johnson's algorithm on the result. Memory consumption of the program was at about 700 MB.

It is to my joy that apparently the runtime of the cycle finding algorithm for a whole Debian Sid repository as well as the memory requirements are within orders of magnitude that are justifiable when being run on off-the-shelf hardware. It must also be noted that nothing is optimized for performance yet.

A list of all cycles in Debian Sid up to length 4 can be retrieved from this email. This cycle analysis assumes that only essential packages, build-essential and dependencies and debhelper are available. Debhelper is not an essential or build-essential package but 79% of the archive build-depends on it.

The most interesting cycles are probably those of length 2 that need packages that they build themselves. Noticeable examples for these situations are vala, python, mlton, fpc, sbcl and ghc. Languages seem love to need themselves to be built.


There is a long discussion of how to encode staged build dependency information in source packages. While the initial idea was to use Build-Depends-StageN fields, this solution would duplicate large parts of the Build-Depends field, which leads to bitrot as well as it is inflexible to possible other build "profiles". To remedy the situation it was proposed to use field names like Build-Depends[stage1 embedded] but this would also duplicate information and would break with the rfc822 format of package description files. A document maintained by Guillem Jover gives even more ideas and details.

Internally, Patrick and me decided for another idea of Guillem Jover to annotate staged build dependencies. The format reads like:

Build-Depends: huge (>= 1.0) [i386 arm] <!embedded !bootstrap>, tiny

So each build profile would follow a dependency in <> "brackets" an have a similar format as architecture options.

Patrick has a patch for dpkg that implements this functionality while I patched dose3.

Dropping Build-Depends-Indep and Build-Conflicts-Indep

When representing the dependencies of a source package, dose3 concatenates its Build-Depends and Build-Depends-Indep dependency information.

So up to now, a source package could only be compiled, if it manages to compile all of its binary packages including architecture:all packages.

But when bootstrapping a new architecture, it should be sufficient to only build the architecture dependent packages and therefor to only build the build-arch target in debian/rules and not the build-indep target.

Only considering the Build-Depends field and dismissing the Build-Depends-Indep field, reduced the main scc from 1027 vertices to 979 vertices. The amount of cycles up to length four reduced from 276 to 206. Especially the cycles containing gtk-doc-tools, doxygen, debiandoc-sgml and texlive-latex-base got much less.

Patrick managed to add a Build-Depends-Indep field to four packages so far which reduced the scc further by 14 vertices down to 965 vertices.

So besides staged build dependencies and cross building there is now a third method that can be applied to break dependency cycles: add Build-Depends-Indep information to them or update existing information.

I submitted a list of packages that have a binary-indep and/or a build-indep target in their debian/rules to the list.

I also submitted a patch for dose3 to be able to specify to ignore Build-Depends-Indep and Build-Conflicts-Indep information.

Dose3 crossbuilding

So far I only looked at dependency situations in the native case. While the native case contains a huge scc of about 1000 packages, the dependency situation will be much nicer when cross building. But dose3 was so far not able to simulate cross building of source packages. I wrote a patch that implements this functionality and will allow me to write programs that help analyze the cross-situation as well.

Debconf Presentation

Wookey was giving a talk at debconf12 for which I was supplying him with slides. The slides in their final version can be downloaded here


Patrick maintains a list of "weak" build dependencies. Those are dependencies that are very likely to be droppable in either a staged build or using Build-Depends-Indep. I must make use of this list to make it easier to find packages that can easily be removed of their dependencies.

I will have to implement support for resolving the main scc using staged build dependencies. Since it is unlikely that Patrick will be fast enough in supplying me with modified packages, I will need to create myself a database of dummy packages.

Another open task is to allow to analyze the crossbuilding dependency situation.

What I'm currently more or less waiting on is the inclusion of my patches into dose3 as well as a decision on the buildprofile format. More people need to discuss about it until it can be included into tools as well as policy.

Every maintainer of a package can help making bootstrapping easier by making sure that as many dependencies as possible are part of the Build-Depends-Indep field.

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port bootstrap build-ordering tool report 3

categories: blog

A copy of this post is sent to soc-coordination@lists.alioth.debian.org as well as to debian-bootstrap@lists.mister-muffin.de.


June 18

Pietro suggests a faster way to generate installation sets for a list of packages. In my case, I need an installation set for every source package in the archive to find out how often a binary package is needed to build a source package. As a result, the speed is doubled in contrast to the original approach.

June 19

  • adapt code to work with new dose release 3.0
  • remove unneeded parts of code
  • add different possibilities to find amount of source packages that need a binary package
  • add code to get multiple installation sets using Depsolver_int.solve

June 20

  • add ~global_constraints:false to Depsolver.listcheck, Depsolver.trim and Depsolver.edos_install calls
  • adapt output graph to limited xdot capabilities

June 21

I formulate an email to the list, reporting of dependency graphs of debhelper, cdbs, pkg-config and libgtk2.0-dev. My current technique gets an installation set for a source package, removes all those that are already installable and adds the others as a dependency of that source package. This dependency will include an installation set of that binary as well minus all packages that are already available. The problem with that approach are dependency cycles created by long dependency chains. Example: src:A needs B needs C needs A. B and C would both be added as a dependency of src:A. B as well as C would also include their installation set which in both cases includes A. So now there are two cycles: src:A->B->A and src:A->C->A. For a real life example, look at the following situation of cdbs and src:sqlite3.

cdbs old situation

It is created because src:sqlite3 needs cdbs needs python-scour needs python needs python2.7 needs libsqlite3-0. Therfor libsqlite3-0 is in the installation set of cdbs, python-scour, python and python2.7. This creates five cycles in the graph even though there is only one. It would be better to reduce the dependencies added to src:sqlite3 to its direct dependency which is cdbs.

Package dependencies are disjunctions from which the solver chooses one or the other to build an installation set. To solve the problem above I would need to know which disjunction the solver chose and then only add the direct dependency of a package to the dependency graph.

  • improve build_compile_rounds performance
  • big overhaul of menu structure
  • fix subgraph extraction code

June 22

  • do not create a universe if not needed - use hashtables instead
  • for sorting packages, generating difference of package sets and otherwise comparing packages, always use CudfAdd.compare
  • as a custom list membership function, use List.exists instead of trying List.find
  • more speedup for build_compile_rounds
  • the number of source packages that can be built does NOT include the cross built packages
  • print closure members in graph
  • refactor code and move common functions to bootstrapCommon.ml
  • add breakcycles.ml for future code to break cycles using staged build dependencies
  • use more extlib functionality
  • extended package list input format

June 23

After several emails with Pietro I learn about syntactic dependency graphs. To document my progress and prove my efforts I committed the code as commit 6684c13. But this code was soon found out to be unecessary so it will be removed later and just serves as documentation.

June 24

I came up with another (better?) solution to get the chosen disjunctions. It simply uses the calculated installation set to decide for each disjunction which one was taken by the solver. I reported that important step and the open questions involved with it in an email to the list. The problem always was, that an installation set can easily contain more than one package of a disjunction. In this case it is not clear which branch was chosen by the solver. I found, that in Ubuntu Natty there are only 6 such packages and for each of them the situation can be solved. It can be solved because in all of those cases it is that either one package of a disjunction provides the other or that both packages depend upon each other, which means that both have to be included.

June 27

  • use installation set to flatten build dependencies of source packages
  • refactor code and move common functions to bootstrapCommon.ml

June 25

I have to have an algorithm that finds all circuits in a given graph. This is necessary so that:

  1. cycles can be enumerated for huge dependency graphs where cycles are hard to see
  2. cycles can be enumerated to find a cycle that can be broken using staged build dependencies

It seems that Johnson's algorithm is the best way to do this complexity wise and Pietro already blogged about the problem together with an implementation of the algorithm in ocaml. Unfortunately it turns out that his code doesnt implement the algorithm correctly and hence misses out on some cycles. The fix seems not to be too trivial so I'm still investigating it.

June 28

  • add crosseverything.ml to obtain a list of source packages that, if cross compiled, would make the whole archive available


While the first week was productive as usual, I had to work some time on a University project during the second week as well as attend a family meeting. I will catch up with the lost time over the course of the next week.


Using dose 3.0 (which fixes a bug about essential packages) the output of the algorithms is now likely less wrong then before.


Performance was improved in the generation of installation sets as well as in the code that tries out how many packages can be built in multiple rounds. This was achieved by more caching, less unnecessary operations in looping constructs, replacing lists with hashtables, not creating universes where not necessary.

user interface

The main program, basenocycles.ml now has a much better menu structure.

input format

The programs take two package file inputs. The list of source packages that has to be cross built for a minimal build system and the list of source packages that was chosen to be cross compiled in addition to that. Both files list one source package per line and now allow comments.


As more and more scripts are added, more and more functionality is moved to bootstrapCommon.ml which makes each script much cleaner.

what to test for cross building

As discussed in the "Future" section of the last report, I now automated the process of finding out which packages, if they were cross compiled, would make the whole archive available because they break all cycles and allow native compilation of the rest. The outcome: to build 3333 out of 3339 packages in natty natively, at most 186 source packages must be cross compiled. The other six cannot be compiled because of version mismatches in the Natty Sources.bz2 and Packages.bz2. The code can be run from crosseverything.ml.

limit source dependencies to direct dependencies

Reducing the dependencies of source packages from their full installation set to their direct dependencies by finding out which disjunction of their dependency list were taken, greatly simplifies the dependency graphs. The dependency graph created for libgtk2.0-dev could be reduced from 491 to 247 vertices for a depth of three.

For cdbs it is now clearly visible that cdbs depends on libsqlite3-0 which builds from src:sqlite3 which depends on cdbs.


cdbs old situation


cdbs new situation

For pkg-config the graph also has been reduced to the one single cycle that matters: src:pkg-config needs libglib2.0-dev which depends on pkg-config which builds from src:pkg-config.


pkg-config old situation


pkg-config old situation


I will prepare content for wookey's debconf talk on crossbuilding and bootstrapping. As this will include directions how to use the current code, I will kill two birds with one stone and write some proper documentation for my current source.

The following two lists will be displayed after a dependency graph is calculated and reduced to its scc:

  • those source packages that have the least build dependencies not fulfilled. Those might be candidates for easy staged build dependencies. Since the source package is part of the scc, it will definitely be involved in some cycle somewhere.
  • those binary packages that most source packages depend upon. Those could be candidates for cross compilation as it might be easier to cross compile the source package than using staged build dependencies.

Patrick managed to cross build packages with sbuild now. So the list of packages that crosseverything.ml produces can now be checked efficiently for cross buildability. With this list, potentially more cycles can be broken out of the box. A feature will be added that allows the user to remove all packages from a dependency graph that can be cross compiled without any additional effort.

Version mismatches between source and binary packages in Sources.bz2 and Packages.bz2 respectively in Ubuntu make the scripts fail and/or produce wrong results. Debian (even Sid) doesnt have this problem so I should find out where to report this problem to Ubuntu.

I need to write a working version of Johnson's algorithm because much functionality depends upon it. I have the option to improve Pietro's version or write one from scratch. Writing one from scratch might be easier as I have Pietro's code as template as well as a Java implementation of Johnson's algorithm which seems to work.

The following functionalities need working cycle enumeration:

  • given source packages with staged build dependencies, an enumeration of cycles is needed to find out which cycles can be broken by building packages staged. It makes less sense to blindly build a package stage and then check if this makes more packages available.
  • display cycles of a dependency graph to the user. After obtaining all cycles in the graph it makes sense to sort them by their length. The user would then investigate the situation of the smallest cycles first. This makes sense because breaking small cycles can potentially break bigger cycles. Since in the end, all cycles have to be eliminated anyway, it makes sense for the user to first tackle the small ones.
  • display the feedback arc set to the user. The packages in the feedback arc set might be very good candidates for reduced build dependencies or cross compilation.
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port bootstrap build-ordering tool report 2

categories: blog

A copy of this post is sent to soc-coordination@lists.alioth.debian.org as well as to debian-bootstrap@lists.mister-muffin.de.


June 4

I added the first version of basenocycles.ml to git. Given an initial set of cross built packages, it tries to compile as much as possible on the resulting system in multiple rounds.

June 5

During June 3, I discovered and error in my program that would only come up when using the Debian Sid package lists as the input:

Fatal error: exception Assert_failure("common/edosSolver.ml", 610, 11)

On this day, June 5, I wrote a minimal test case for this problem.

The same day, Pietro figured out that this is a bug in dose which will be fixed in the next release.

Begin writing code to figure out how important a binary package is for the further build process.

Try to use Depsolver.edos_install to find out what packages are needed to make debhelper available.

Restructure basenocycles.ml, exclude source packages that already have been built, still trouble with already existing binary packages and Cudf.mem_installed, comment stuff better.

June 6

I wrote some crude code (only estimate, not correct, fixed later) that would give a rough overview of how often a given binary package is directly required as a build dependency.

Debhelper came out as the most needed package. It is architecture:all, so it does not have to be built but it has unfulfilled runtime dependencies. To make those packages available, 13 (actually 11, fixed later) packages have to be compiled on Ubuntu Natty. But those packages all (except gettext) require debhelper itself to be built. The first dependency cycle.

This dependency cycle (actually, the 12 cycles) can be broken by either cross compiling those source packages or by making them build without debhelper. One goal of the program is to help decide what the easier option is, but this is not yet implemented.

To play around a bit, I created the possibility to specify a list of packages that are additionally to the minimal set of cross compiled packages also cross compiled. I added the 13 packages found above to the list, thus making the binary packages they build available. This made debhelper available in the system.

As a result, 1625 out of 3339 source packages can be built with just a minimal build system (priority:essential packages plus build-essential) and debhelper available.

The next package that blocks the most other source packages from being built is cdbs. The next nine packages in that list also require cdbs so it seems to be the next important package to be available.

Pietro's suggestions make me:

 - do not open BootstrapCommon but ExtLib, Common, Algo, Debian
 - do proper option parsing and logging
 - use Debcudf.ignore_essential = true
 - do Debcudf.init_tables (binlist@srclist)
 - use @ with shorter list first
 - use more List.rev_append instead of @
 - use CudfAdd.who_provides to find if a package is available

June 7

Pietro and Patrick suggest that for solving the debhelper cycles, one could provide a minimal debhelper version so that the above list of 12 packages can be built without debhelper.

I try to figure out how to get a list of packages that are missing to make a package installable/buildable. This functionality should be provided in dose but I fail to find it.

June 8

Lacking a solution of the problem of June 7, I write a mail to Pietro.

I start my first graphs in ocaml using the ocamlgraph library.

The graph I generate, starts off at a binary package. For each binary package it connects new vertices as its runtime dependencies. If a binary package is not arch:all and also not yet otherwise compiled, its source package is also added.

The result is a graph in which set of source packages in it will make the initial package available, if those source packages would be cross compiled.

The graph is extended further than the source packages.

June 9

I refine a couple of functions, make univ_get_pkg_by_name return the package with the highest version number.

I wrote a rather lengthy (1027 words) email to the list that explains my status as of this day.

I can create graphviz dot files with ocaml, can create node and edge types and create the graph by an imperative pattern that I saw a lot in Pietro's code.

Disjunctions are not yet handled correctly (see mail from June 8).

The graphs generated look like the following: http://mister-muffin.de/p/8nyc.png

June 11

I write a test case which shows how CudfAdd.who_provides doesnt find virtual packages.

Automate the process of finding the packages that, if cross compiled, would make another package available.

Add more predicates (identifying source packages) and improve input file reading code.

Move build_compile_rounds which compiles as many source packages as it can in multiple rounds on a given minimal system a toplevel function and thereby abstract it more.

Create a rudimentary text based menu to choose different actions to take for an analysis.

Start writing an extended version of simple_dependency_graph for deeper analysis.

Use xdot to show graphs from the text menu. Allow saving those graphs to a file.

June 12

Move functionality from the extended version of simple_dependency_graph over to the normal version and delete the extended version.

Add the new Closure vertex type.

Create extended_dependency_graph which is supposed to not contain single binary package vertices but handle a package and its installation set as one vertex.

The output of extended_dependency_graph is optionally reduced to the biggest (non degenerate) strongly connected component.

User gets the option of choosing the exploration depth.

June 13

Pietro replies to my mail from June 8 but apparently I failed to express myself well enough in my last mail, so I rephrase my question.

Pietro replies to my email from June 11 and explains how the effect I see is due to "a nuisance of the debian to cudf encoding". As a result I change my code accordingly.

June 14

Another lengthy (1130 words) email to the list. I explain what was done in the past days, what parts work and how they work. I list some rationales on why I did things the way I did them.

The most important observation is, that after improving my code again and again, I ended up representing the dependency cycle problem in the same (very similar) way that Pietro suggested in the beginning. This is probably a good discovery.

Lots of data of that email is now of only little use as of June 16, I make lots of improvements in correctness.

As I dont have an answer to my other email to Pietro from June 13, I implement a very crude way to get an answer to the question of what packages are missing for a package to be available/compileable. I called it flatten_vpkgformula_best_effort and it suffers from many faults including disjunctions and package conflicts.

Patrick spots a problem. As a result, I make sure that at no point, the source package of an arch:all package can be listed.

June 15

As a reply to my mail from June 13, Pietro creates a new branch in the git and adds the code I needed to get a proper installation set.

June 16

As a result of Pietro's efforts from June 15, I make great advancements on all fronts.

Details of the current status follow in the next section.


A big leap was made on June 16 due to Pietro's great help on making me understand how Depsolver.listcheck can be used for my purposes. My difficulties in finding the solution myself are rooted in many parts of the dose framework being poorly commented but Pietro did already a couple of documentation commits whenever things were unclear for me.

Using Depsolver.listcheck makes it possible to be more distribution agnostic and I dont have to handle vpkgs, virtual packages and constraints myself anymore. The code also doesnt suffer anymore by wrongly analyzed dependencies and conflicts. The only thing that is not yet taken care of, is that Depsolver.listcheck only chooses one out of several possible installation set. A final version should be able to take into account that a different installation set could provide a better solution.

Overall, in comparison to two weeks ago, I can now properly build, traverse and analyze graphs, can choose an installation set properly, understand more about dependencies, closures, dose and ocaml in general.

Finding the importance of binary packages for building

When calculating how many source packages are depending on the availability of a binary package I originally flattened the pkg.Cudf.depends list twice for a rough overview. This is of course wrong due to disjunctions and conflicts and also doesnt provide a deep dependency inspection. The new method is to calculate an installation set that is necessary to compile a source package for every source package. The resulting list of binary packages is then used to find out how often a binary package appears in an installation set.

I see three drawbacks though:

  • calculating an installation set for each source package in the archive is very slow
  • if X packages build depend on A then also X packages will build depend on the installation set of A, resulting in lots of duplication
  • only one installation set is selected though there are many

Removing simple graph

The simple graph which contained single binary and source packages was removed. I realized it doesnt really serve any purpose to look at it. As a result, Bin vertices and InstallDep edges are also not part of the graph anymore. Since it was responsible for generating the list of source packages that have to be cross built to make a package available, I created a new function get_cross_source_packages which uses an installation to serve the same purpose.

Fix extended_dependency_graph

extended_dependency_graph now uses installation sets for generating the list of packages that is needed to compile a source package or install a binary package. The list of build dependencies does not include packages that are already installable. The list of runtime dependencies does not include packages that are otherwise available (cross built, arch:all...). Instead of checking for list membership all the time, I created hash tables for the list of installable as well as for the list of available binary packages.


There are two big tasks for the next two weeks:

Task one is to find a way to give hints on which packages to best consider for having reduced build dependencies. This would then probably finally make use of Pietro's cycle algorithms.

Task two is to find a way to break cycles and create a build-DAG from a list of packages that already have staged build dependency information.

Patrick is currently working on patching dpkg with Build-Depends-StageN dependencies as making perl cross compilable. If he doesnt need the ability to decide which packages to modify to have staged build dependencies in the near future, then task one is probably less urgent and therefor of less importance right now?

On the other hand, I can easily generate fake reduced build dependencies so that doing task two right now would not be a problem. Also, having the solution for task two will make it possible to show the user what effect it would have to add reduced build dependencies to a package.

For the reasons above (it's not urgent, task one profits from task two being solved) I will go and implement task two first (if there are no objections from my mentors).

Another idea, that I discussed with wookey and Patrick yesterday, was that due to multiarch being used for more and more packages, there should exist a set of packages that is cross compilable without any change to the package.

We agreed that I make a list of packages that, if cross compiled, would break dependency cycles and make other packages available. I created such a list of about 160 packages for Ubuntu Natty that, if cross compiled, made it possible to have 87% of Natty available (those numbers have to be treated with caution as I did not yet use the proper way of installation sets when generating that list, but the order of magnitude should be correct). Wookey can then try to cross compile those packages. If some packages of those "crucial" source packages are found to be cross compilable, then they should be cross compiled because it means that no work has to be done to break some cycles. Cross compiling all packages that are cross compilable out of the box is no solution, as only natively compiled packages can go into the archive. This is why the list of potentially additionally cross compiled source packages has to be kept as small as possible.

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