Debian packages of (scientific) Java libraries

Steffen Möller steffen_moeller at
Thu Feb 9 08:39:53 UTC 2012

Hello Florian,

On 02/08/2012 05:36 PM, Florian Rothmaier wrote:
> I work on an astronomy project called "Virtual Observatory" (VO) at
> the University of Heidelberg. In our working group, we had the idea to
> start Debian-packaging of VO-related software widespreadly used by
> professional and amateur astronomers.
> By creating Debian packages of VO-related libraries and applications,
> we aim at facilitating the installation and maintenance of VO clients
> on Debian(-derived) systems and the distribution of astronomical
> software and its dependencies within the open-source community.
this is a very nice idea. Much appreciated.
> One of our projects is the dpkging of the graphical viewer and data
> editor TOPCAT, see
> .
> When I started my packaging work, I had to note that a large number of
> external libs required by TOPCAT comes along in .jar archives.
> Fortunately, some of them have already been dpkged (e.g.
> libdomj4-java, libjetty-java or libjfreechart-java), others haven't. I
> understood that I would have to focus on the prerequisites for
> packaging TOPCAT, i.e. on generating local Debian packages for
> TOPCAT's dependencies.
This is very typical of all those Java beasts.
> Right now, I have ~10 Debian packages of Java libraries ready, so far
> only available on my local machine.
> I would be very grateful for any hint or suggestion on the best way I
> should proceed with my astronomy packaging project.
For a functional .deb, albeit not redistributable within Debian, you can
still have the one or other .jar shipping along your own software. My
suggestion is to one-by-one remove one of those of your end-user-package
into a separate Debian package and keep testing the functionality of
your software.  Especially when sharing with other packages, more
complex Java software tends to have pesky version dependencies that
sometimes only manifest at runtime.

The regular Java bits I indeed suggest to leave with pkg-java. When it
gets more astronomical, consider also the Debian Science community.

For communication with others you may use the, but
many also like using an Ubuntu PPA, so you get a free build daemon.



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