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Symbols files for C++ libraries for Ubuntu main


Hi,

There has recently been a question [1] about whether symbols files
should be mandatory for C++ libraries in Ubuntu 'main'. I'm curious to
hear what other Ubuntu developers think about this topic.

Symbols files aren't mentioned in the official MIR criteria at all. [2]

I think there's general agreement that Ubuntu should use symbols files
for C libraries. And although it's not "required" in Debian as I
understand it, I think there is widespread support for it as "best
practice" there too.

C++ libraries can be much more difficult to maintain symbols files
for. I frequently see uploads for a new upstream release of a C++
library, quickly followed by another upload to fix the symbols files
so that the package builds on all supported architectures.

In my opinion, symbols files for a C++ library is a decision best made
by the package maintainer. [3] Therefore, if the Debian maintainer
chooses to not maintain symbols files, the Ubuntu team handling the
package can follow the Debian lead or optionally maintain symbols
files as an Ubuntu diff.

[1] https://launchpad.net/bugs/1770748
[2] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuMainInclusionRequirements
[3] See Debian Policy § 8.6
https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/#dependencies-between-the-library-and-other-packages

Thanks,
Jeremy Bicha