Talk:Arch package guidelines

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Fields order

Arch_Packaging_Standards#Package_etiquette states: "It is common practice to preserve the order of the PKGBUILD fields as shown above." But this is not true. Common practice is to use /usr/share/pacman/PKGBUILD.proto as a template, and the order of fields in that prototype has a far greater influence on packages in the wild than this page. This page should edited to reflect the current state of PKGBUILD.proto. Perhaps this page should state: "It is common practice to order PKGBUILD fields so they match the order of fields in PKGBUILD.proto. Ichimonji10 (talk) 14:32, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Punctuation in PKGBUILD

What is the official guidance regarding ending a pkgdesc in a period or using commas and English prose punctuation in general?

[Link] to discussion thread.

Graysky (talk) 15:17, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Package naming

  • Package names should consist of alphanumeric characters only; all letters should be lowercase.
This is a guideline, but I see some packages with hypens and underscores (tesseract-data-chi_sim), dots (gstreamer0.10), plus (libxml++) and even at-signs (kde-l10n-ca@valencia). A package with uppercase name is libreoffice-bn-IN. According to the makepkg source, the allowed chars are: [:alnum:]+_.@-. Lekensteyn (talk) 22:38, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
"alphanumeric characters only" rule is ridiculous, 85% of official packages break this rule. I think it should be changed to allow hypens. It makes package names more readable. In regards to other characters, the + sign breaks AUR search (example, should be escaped). axper (talk) 11:19, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Package names should NOT be suffixed with the upstream major release version number (e.g. we don't want libfoo2 if upstream calls it libfoo v2.3.4) in case the library and its dependencies are expected to be able to keep using the most recent library version with each respective upstream release. However, for some software or dependencies, this can not be assumed. In the past this has been especially true for widget toolkits such as GTK and Qt. Software that depends on such toolkits can usually not be trivially ported to a new major version. As such, in cases where software can not trivially keep rolling alongside its dependencies, package names should carry the major version suffix (e.g. gtk2, gtk3, qt4, qt5). For cases where most dependencies can keep rolling along the newest release but some can't (for instance closed source that needs libpng12 or similar), a deprecated version of that package might be called libfoo1 while the current version is just libfoo.
  • Package versions should be the same as the version released by the author. Versions can include letters if need be (eg, nmap's version is 2.54BETA32). Version tags may not include hyphens! Letters, numbers, and periods only.
This rule needs to get more stricter. Having a slash in the version breaks filenames. For craziness, I tried setting up a pkgver containing all characters from 0x01 to 0xff which makes makepkg throw a Bash syntax error. The current packages have versions matching {{ic}[[alnum:]._+~]+} (and a colon for epoch, a hypen for pkgrel). What about limiting to those characters? Debian has a similar set, see their policy docs Lekensteyn (talk) 22:38, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Package releases are specific to Arch Linux packages. These allow users to differentiate between newer and older package builds. When a new package version is first released, the release count starts at 1. Then as fixes and optimizations are made, the package will be re-released to the Arch Linux public and the release number will increment. When a new version comes out, the release count resets to 1. Package release tags follow the same naming restrictions as version tags.
  • Why is there no mentioning of suffixes for different build sources, such as vcs sources (-git, -hg, …) or binary distributions (-bin)? IMO this is an important part of the package naming conventions in AUR. Fordprefect (talk) 13:43, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Is it acceptable for build() to start by removing directories?

I just downloaded a PKGBUILD whose build() function begins with the following:

find ./ -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type d  -exec rm -r {} \;

It seems to me that a PKGBUILD has no business doing this and that it is potentially dangerous. I admit that its danger will typically require people to do non-standard things and, arguably, things they would be better advised not to do anyway. But it still seems to me to invite trouble.

I don't remember seeing this in a PKGBUILD before but I can't find anything definitely ruling it out.

Is it acceptable for a build function to start by removing directories in this way? Is it safe?

--cfr (talk) 03:03, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

I'd argue that this is an acceptable thing to do, at least in some cases. As an example, consider Talend Open Studio DI: a single source file provides files for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, PowerPC (?) and Solaris. In response, the talend-open-studio-diAUR PKGBUILD simply removes them. Does removing those files invite trouble? Yes. But removing files seems like an integral tool in the package maintainer's toolkit, and plenty of other weird stuff happens in PKGBUILDs too. Ichimonji10 (talk) 02:20, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Unique sources

The source array should only contain unique sources names if a shares source directory is used. This applies to most github download. You can use "${pkgname}-${pkgver}.tar.gz::" prependet to each source to make the filename unique. I am not allowed to edit the page, could someone please do so?--NicoHood (talk) 15:33, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Add security standards

As we decided to use https and GPG wherever possible for PKGBUILDs this should be added here as well. A Link to the mailing list would be also nice. The usage of strong hashes could also be mentioned, but I assume some people will not like the idea. A Link to the discussion about the hashes could also help for everyone to get his own opinion. It should be also mentioned that maintainers still need to validate the content of the downloads and test the update. Another important point is to contact upstream for GPG signatures if they are not available yet. One can link to some templates/tutorials I made on --NicoHood (talk) 19:40, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Forget about the checksums part, as it was already declined multiple times by the developers. For the rest, patches welcome. -- Alad (talk) 20:19, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
edit: see also User:Apg#makepkg:_replace_default_checksums -- Alad (talk) 15:21, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Architecture Section not clear enough

The arch array depends "on which architectures it can be built on". This is okay but I believe it should be clarified that the program also needs to run and work on that architecture. I know it's a bit "obvious" but people who write interpreted programs may understand that they should put "any" in the arch array even if their program is not usable at all for some architectures. Cecton (talk) 07:14, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

How does fixing "built on" to "built for" prevent people from abusing any? That's a separate problem. Also, interpreted programs like scripts should use any, where do you think they shouldn't? -- Lahwaacz (talk) 08:39, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
There is that program (debtap in AUR) wrote in bash that converts deb packages to Arch Linux packages. Unfortunately the program works only for i386 and amd64 because it fetches Ubuntu repositories at some specific locations. So when you run it on an arm architecture it fails with a curl output saying 404 which is not user friendly at all. IMHO a package should be restricted to the architectures where it works but in the specifications here, the only requirement is that it compiles. Cecton (talk) 09:08, 28 April 2017 (UTC)
Actually it is better specified here: PKGBUILD#arch "If instead a package can be compiled for any architecture, but is architecture-specific once compiled, specify all architectures officially supported by Arch, i.e. arch=('i686' 'x86_64'). " Cecton (talk) 10:10, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Since we no longer support i686 and the section had to be edited anyway, I tried to clarify the situation described above. I don't think it should include something like ".. and any other architectures the package builds/compiles/runs on", as we only support x86_64. None of the packages in the official repositories specify architectures besides 'x86_64' and 'any' (I think). Lonaowna (talk) 15:41, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Maybe we should just do like we do for Licenses, and say "See PKGBUILD#arch". I think we explain in sufficient detail there. :) -- Eschwartz (talk) 03:26, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Not saying it's a bad thing, but following this approach there wouldn't be much left of the official packaging guidelines... The purpose of the entire page should be rethought. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 09:41, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

/opt vs /usr/share

Should there be a clause here or somewhere about preferring /opt for big/self-contained AUR packages instead of /usr/share? Isn't there such a policy? —Dettalk 17:17, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

That's somewhat covered by the FHS. There's no reason to make it specific only to AUR, even official packages like cuda or vtk6 are installed into /opt. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:34, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Do you mean that actual page? So sections like Arch packaging standards#Directories should really be replaced with a link there? —Dettalk 19:02, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
There you go, you even have the policy, so what's the point of this discussion really?? -- Lahwaacz (talk) 20:07, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Alad, I'd appreciate it, if you didn't just come in and close an ongoing discussion. Anyway, so shouldn't that text be amended if that small piece is our official guideline? 1) Java is not installed in /opt (neither jre7-openjdk nor jre8-openjdk), 2) what is a "self-contained" package? Can it have e.g. icons and desktop files in /usr? I would hope so. —Dettalk 21:19, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Det, you really need to improve the way you ask questions. We don't have telepathic powers like you might have, so there is no way we could have guessed from the first post that you want an explanation for a section that you linked in your second post. Please read the standard reference on this topic, How To Ask Questions The Smart Way.
Now back to the topic. You're right about Java, so I removed that example. There are multiple reasons to use /opt, most often it is because it may be too hard or even impossible to merge the software with the system's /usr hierarchy. For example the software might come with bundled libraries which may conflict with the system libraries, this is where the "self-contained" comes from. If you take a look at the content of the cuda package, you will see that manual pages, licenses and desktop files are installed into /usr/share.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 07:17, 22 May 2017 (UTC)
Hmm. I don't think I was looking for an explanation to another article from the talk page of a different article. What "telepathic powers" that I "may have" have got to do with that, I've no clue. Also, I don't think I need patronisations about how to ask good questions. :-)
Anyway, as you can see from the flow of the conversation, first I thought there should be an AUR-specific instruction on /opt. Then you say no, and there's also a different site. Then I ask about that other general one I found, different article, which is very cryptic, a bit out-of-date, and maybe that's the reason that it is. Then you respond, well exactly, that's what we already got, so why ask in the first place, and Alad closes the conversation?
Right? On the issue, I can see cuda has its stuff elsewhere besides /opt. However, the point is, why isn't it explained in that article? Why isn't your explanation in the article? Also, it currently says "large self-contained". What is the definition of large? Smaller ones belong in /usr?
I don't need that explanation, the article needs it. People reading for the first time need it. Right? —Dettalk 08:24, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Use subpages

I propose move of following pages to subpage structure like we do for many articles on the wiki:

If done as above it would make sense to remove top part of the template as subpages already contain link to parent article. Updated template, based on archwiki-template-box css:

CLRCrossEclipseFree PascalGNOMEGoHaskellJavaKDEKernelLispMinGWNode.jsNonfreeOCamlPerlPHPPythonRRubyVCSWebWine

-- Svito (talk) 11:43, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I agree with moving the pages to subpages. But I'm not entirely certain if we should remove the "Arch" from the parent page. -- nl6720 (talk) 12:06, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
The top part links to Creating packages, not Arch packaging standards. --Larivact (talk) 12:12, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
That's probably a mistake, it was this way since 2012 though. -- Svito (talk) 12:39, 2 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree with the subpages, but I'd keep "Arch" in the parent title. It is a protected page so it deserves some prominence. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 09:34, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Agreed, I updated the proposal. -- Svito (talk) 11:09, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
I disagree with the subpages. They don't actually improve anything and make the titles less readable. Instead we can just use a regular category, I created Category:Arch package guidelines. If we could finally push ArchWiki talk:Administrators#Patch Vector skin to display categories at the top of the page, we could also archive Template:Package guidelines. Lahwaacz could you please rename the article to Arch package guidelines and categorize it and VCS package guidelines with Category:Arch package guidelines? Also Category:About Arch should be removed because it's an ancestor.--Larivact (talk) 18:34, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
OK, I think we all agree at least on the renaming of this article. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 19:01, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! I also think Category:Package management doesn't fit this article. --Larivact (talk) 19:03, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Your proposal/implementation is much better. Closing. -- Svito (talk) 15:09, 16 November 2018 (UTC)