Debian packages of (scientific) Java libraries

Florian Rothmaier frothmai at
Mon Feb 20 11:11:44 UTC 2012

Hello Steffen,

thanks for your prompt reply and the useful hints for working with Java packages!


Am 09.02.2012 09:39, schrieb Steffen Möller:
> 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.
> Best,
> Steffen

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