[2008-02 ANNOUNCE]

Hi Debian fellows

The Tcl/Tk team announced in October [1] that some work is happening off-stage about Tcl/Tk versions and their reverse dependencies. A new policy document is currently available [2] whose aim is introducing some order and improvements in the current Tcl/Tk status. We are now moving forward by defining a few release goals for Lenny, which are of interest for the release team and all involved maintainers and packages.

Our goals in descending order of priority are:

[A] Removing /usr/lib in $auto_path [3]. That has been already announced in the past message with motivations for that, and experimental packages are available in experimental for testing. 
We are going to release a non-/usr/lib Tcl/Tk in unstable and preparing a few NMUs for packages 
which need fixed pkgIndex.tcl for that. That will happen as soon as possible. A dedicated page
about tasks and packages involved in the transition is [4] for all interested parties.

[B] Removing Tcl/Tk 8.3, which is largely obsolete since years, and not supported upstream. That
will make security teams happy. A few packages need to depend on Tcl/Tk 8.4 and testing, a few main extensions will need changes as well and all that will/could propagate to other packages. 
A dedicated wiki page listing the packages involved in 8.3 removing is available [5].
Some packages could  need specific patches in order to work with a current version of Tcl/Tk,
but that should be not the general case. If a patch cannot be provided (dead upstream, none is able to provide a suitable patch, etc) the interested package will be proposed for removal because obsolete. 
That is surely the case of some old/deprecated extensions. 

[C] Making the recently released Tcl/Tk 8.5 the default package in Lenny. Default packages are a recent
concept introduced in the last months in order to improve the status of the Tcl/Tk dependencies 
building by allowing bin-NMUs when ever needed. We would have the long waited 8.5 as default package
in the next release.


[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2007/10/msg00008.html
[2] http://pkg-tcltk.alioth.debian.org/tcltk-policy.html/
[3] http://pkg-tcltk.alioth.debian.org/tcltk-policy.html/ch-tcltk.html#s-paths
[4] http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianTclTk/UsrLibTransition
[5] http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianTclTk/TclTk83Removal

Francesco Lovergine
(in behalf of the Tcl/Tk team)

[ 2007-10 ANNOUNCE ]

Hi Debianers

As already announced to all interested maintainers whose packages depend on Tcl/Tk,
there is an ongoing effort of drafting a policy for team maintainance of Tcl/Tk
main packages and their modules/extensions. This is now an announce to
the larger audience of all maintainers in order to inform also people who
could be interested in packaging Tcl/Tk related packages in the next future.

Current draft is available at [1] and is generated daily. 

It starts to be in good shape and near its final form, but comments and improvements 
are welcome, of course. 

The new policy tries to be as much as possible backward compatible, but there 
is at least an aspect which will introduce a breakage with the past (the removing 
of /usr/lib among $auto_path list [2]), mainly introduced to solve current 
performance-impacting situation. Tcl/Tk developers should refer to
possible issues with their own extensions building due to this change (see [3]).

Interested maintainers are already informed and we are intentioned to
perform a NMU cycle to solve issues with current packages whenever needed,
in order to have the new policy implemented as our main Lenny goal.

Another notably change is the introduction of proper default packages for Tcl and Tk
which are introduced in order to simplify major version upgrades for modules and
extensions. Those package will be introduced smoothly and won't break anything
in Lenny. 

You can find more information about the policy ratios at [4].

Thanks to Sergei Golovan, the new policy is yet almost implemented in
the subversion repository for the core packages and an experimental 
upload will happen as soon as possible to allow wide testing among 
Tclers before introducing new core packages in sid.  

As said, there is still space and time for improvements and fixes to the policy.

Happy hacking


[1] http://pkg-tcltk.alioth.debian.org/tcltk-policy.html/
[2] http://pkg-tcltk.alioth.debian.org/tcltk-policy.html/ch-tcltk.html#s-paths
[3] http://pkg-tcltk.alioth.debian.org/tcltk-policy.html/ap-debian_oddities.html
[4] http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianTclTk/DebianTclTkPolicyCommentary

Francesco Lovergine
(in behalf of the Tcl/Tk team)