[Openmcl-devel] Debian packaging for CCL

Gary Byers gb at clozure.com
Fri Jun 29 08:49:16 PDT 2012

I don't know of any more recent attempts to package CCL for Debian.
AFAIK, it's in MacPorts for OSX, in the FreeBSD ports system, and
(IIRC) in Gentoo's package system. The actual packaging technology
in those cases is different from Debian's, but you might find it
helpful to look at those efforts.

A year or two ago, someone got fairly far in the process of packaging
CCL for Fedora.  Their attempts to get it accepted into the Fedora
distribution kept getting rejected by whoever decides these things.
CCL - like many other Lisps and like some other programming
environments - puts code in memory and executes it; in order for this
to work, its heap (and sometimes stack) pages have to be mapped with
execute permission, and this set off a red flag for the reviewer.  I
think that the person who was trying to do the packaging got
frustrated by the process and gave up; the reviewer may have just been
going through a checklist and may not have understood the issue(s) too
deeply.  I think that other applications that do similar things (for
similar reasons) are distributed with Fedora, so this may have just been
a case of (bad) luck of the draw.

I don't want to discourage you if you're interested in doing this; having
CCL available in Debian (and likely Ubuntu) is mostly a good thing for
CCL (some - possibly large - number of people who might be interested in
CCL but aren't aware of it might become aware of it.)  There's a tradeoff;
if there are versions available in the package system, they may not always
be the most recent versions and it may not be possible or practical for
users of those versions to get bug fixes via svn.  The advantages - broader
visibility of CCL - likely outweigh these concerns, and if you want to
pursue this the results could be good for CCL in general.

On Thu, 28 Jun 2012, Faheem Mitha wrote:

> Hi,
> Debian does not have CCL currently packaged. I looked into how hard
> this might be to do, and it doesn't look so easy, at least if one was
> to try from a standing start. This impression is based just on looking
> at the instructions in the manual. Among other issues, CCL will need a
> binary installation of itself to build. The last official version of
> CCL in Debian was when it was called Openmcl, and that was in sarge,
> and that was only for the powerpc arch. Sarge was released 6th June
> 2005. Sometime after sarge, CCL must have been ported to other archs,
> I guess.
> There have been some ITPs recently, but none made it into Debian
> unstable, or even mentors, and nobody ever published their packaging,
> as far as I can tell. Since CCL seems quite stable now, the packaging
> would probably not need to change very much between releases.
> Does anyone know of any Debian packaging attempts out there that I
> could try to build on? Please CC me on any reply. Thanks.
>                                                       Regards, Faheem
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