Major changes in the Debian HDF5 packages

Janvier 18th, 2012

Yesterday, I uploaded hdf5 1.8.8 in unstable. This new version, which has been available in experimental for a while, is a major step in the HDF5 packaging.

For those who are using this package, besides the switch from version 1.8.6 to 1.8.8, the changes are the following:

  • Since upstream is now trying to keep a consistent ABI/API, packages have been renamed from libhdf5-xxx-X.Y.Z (X, Y and Z being the version number) to libhdf5-xxx-7 (7 being the version of the soname)
  • The package libhdf5-serial-* have been renamed to libhdf5-7 or libhdf5-dev
  • Symbol files have been added for all the libraries.
  • arm archs have also libhdf5-openmpi-dev
  • Support of HURD, armhf & s390x
  • Help is now up to date and the debian/html.tgz.uu removed (thanks to the source format v3.0, two source tarballs are now used)
  • A new package hdf5-helpers which contains h5cc, h5c++ and h5fc has been introduced
  • Fix many lintian warnings
  • Java HDF has been updated to version 2.8

More information about the transition:

Debian BSP in Paris at Mid-february

Décembre 1st, 2011

Next February, 17 to 19th, a Bug Squashing Party (BSP) is organized at IRILL offices (disclosure: I work for IRILL part time), close to Place d'Italie in Paris.

The principle of a BSP is to gather Debian contributors to tackle a maximum of bugs in Debian.

This event is also the opportunity for new potential contributors to meet Debian Developers or Maintainers. Numerous regular contributors will attend to this BSP and will help newcomers to fix their first bugs.

For organization reasons, an inscription on the Debian wiki is mandatory.

Non-Parisian can find a list of hostel close to the IRILL's offices.

Removal of sun-java6 from Debian

Octobre 25th, 2011

As said in one of my previous blog post, we, Debian, were going to remove sun-java6 packages from the archive once critical security issues would come. It was supposed to happen sooner and later and here we are. The version 29 (see the #645881 Debian bug) of the Oracle proprietary JVM has been released. It fixes some critical issues but, because of the DLJ removal, Debian is no longer able to distribute it.

Unfortunately, we have no other choice than asking for a removal from the archive and promote the use of the openjdk 6 & 7.
The conclusion is:
apt-get --purge remove sun-java6-jre && apt-get install openjdk-7-jre

Debian / Twitter feed: removed packages

Août 29th, 2011

After a request from Olivier Berger, I developed the Removed packages feed for Debian. This feed lists packages removed from the Debian Archive.

Debian removed packages on
Debian removed packages on Twitter
For more information about removed packages

sun-java6 packages removed soon from Debian/Ubuntu (and all other linux distros)

Août 26th, 2011

For the story, due to license reasons, the version of Java packaged in Linux distributions is not the same as the one released on the official website.
Each time a new version of Java is was released, Sun/Oracle people are were publishing a other distro specific release available on a dedicated website.

Since I have been maintaining sun-java6 packages for a year and half, I am following the rhythm releases (security is one of the reasons).
A few days ago, I pinged on Twitter Dalibor Topic, who is, AFAIK, the person in charge of this at Oracle, he replied with a blog post Retiring the DLJ.

The main information from this blog post is:

[...] further Oracle JDK 6 (or Oracle JDK 7) releases on Linux and Solaris will not be provided under the DLJ [...]

Basically, that means that Linux distributions will not be able to package new releases of the proprietary JVM/JDK (including the latest update -27). The only release available in the Linux distro will be the OpenJDK.

While I am glad to see Oracle pushing the free JDK, I am a bit concern by this sudden decision. There are still bugs (for example, with fonts, applets or other others issues) present in the OpenJDK which does not happen in the sun-java6 packages.
And also, as Andrew John Hughes said on Twitter, the Oracle proprietary JVM just lost one of the two freedoms it had (free to redistribute the software)...

Moreover, many people are still using the proprietary JVM. For example, Debian popularity contest or Ubuntu Popularity Contest reports 836864 installations of sun-java6-jre against 749731 of openjdk-6-jre.

The bottom line is, if you are aware of bugs present only in OpenJDK, please report them (on the Debian bug tracker, launchpad or as a comment of this blog post). We will report them upstream to make sure OpenJDK is as good as sun-java6.

Edit: comments closed due to the spams... Drop me an email on I will push them.