Osmgpsmap stuck in unstable

Yesterday I learnt something about how packages migrate from Debian unstable (sid) to Debian testing. For a while now, osmgpsmap was not able to migrate to testing. On the Debian Package Tracking System (PTS) this reason was stated (amongst other repeat messages for the other architectures Debian supports):

out of date on i386: libosmgpsmap-1.0-dev (from 1.0.2-1); libosmgpsmap-dev, libosmgpsmap2, libosmgpsmap2-dbg, python-osmgpsmap (from 0.7.3-3)……….

I knew that this had something to do with the reverse dependencies, but after emailing the Debian Release Team, Niels Thykier kindly explained that the out of date binaries were being retained in unstable due to these reverse dependencies needing them. Also, the automatic transition detection had not picked up that a transition was occurring due to the fact that osmgpsmap had previously been removed from testing. What is needed is to “de-cruft”! In other words, these out of date binaries need to be removed from unstable manually.

This will break the reverse dependencies in unstable. But as two of them have been removed from testing anyway, and need to be re-uploaded after being fixed to work with the new osmgpsmap, this is not a big problem. The other remaining reverse dependency would be a problem however, if osmgpsmap migrated to testing. Subsurface lists osmgpsmap as a build-dependency. It would therefore fail to build with the new osmgpsmap once it reached testing. I already knew that subsurface no longer needed to depend on osmgpsmap, and because the maintainer seemed to be busy, I prepared a Non Maintainer Upload (NMU) for subsurface. This was sponsored very quickly by Tobias Frost (thanks Tobias).

So now we just wait for Subsurface to migrate to testing with this fix, and then I will contact the release team again to do the “de-cruft”!

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LibLAS

To help Bas with the transition to GDAL 1.11.0, I cherry-picked some commits from LibLAS upstream so that LibLAS was able to build against this latest GDAL version which is sitting in Debian Experimental.

This involved me setting up Pbuilder to install needed packages from the NEW queue and Debian Experimental.

Firstly, liblaszip is currently waiting in the NEW queue, so pbuilder could not build libLAS. Therefore, even though I could just drop that dependency (and eventually did for the release), I decided to set up a local package repository with mini-dinstall. I used the Ubuntu wiki page (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PbuilderHowto) as a guide. This way I could build liblaszip directly from the Alioth git repository, sign it, and dput it to my local package repository. By updating my pbuilderrc configuration file with this local repository as “OTHERMIRROR”, pbuilder is able to satisfy the missing build dependency.

Secondly, I needed to build against the version of GDAL (1.11.0) which was currently in Debian Experimental. For this, I created a “hook” directory with the apt-preferences information for GDAL. By logging into the pbuiler chroot I can enable the experimental distribution in sources.list, and then update pbuilder forcing it to read from pbuilderrc and then pickup the apt-preferences information. Now I must remember to disable “experimental” when I am finished with it!

The following webpages were also useful during the learning process: