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What are the practical consequences of a metapackage?

asked 2013-09-25 02:54:50 -0500

TommyP gravatar image

updated 2013-09-25 02:55:45 -0500

What are the practical consequences of a metapackage? How are they supposed to be used?

Are they only a check that you have all packages you need or can they help with getting all the packages you need?

We have now a lot of packages checked in to subversion. We would like to define different sub-sets of these packages and let different people check out and update different sub-sets. How do you do that the ros way?

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answered 2013-09-28 20:44:35 -0500

tfoote gravatar image

metapackages allow you to group a set of functionality under a convenient name for easy installation. They are empty packages which only have dependencies. They are only really helpful for distribution or released packages. They are especially designed for binary based installations.

If you are installing from source the grouping can only be done by the repository higherarchy in svn. (In DVCSs you can usually not even checkout subtrees and are limited to the repos.

I would recommend that you look into the rosinstall_generator for your purposes of checking out arbitrary code. But again it will work much better for released code.

For arbitrary code subsets making common rosinstall file snippets for rosinstall or wstool are probably your best approach.

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I see. Maybe "They are only really helpful for distribution or released packages. They are especially designed for binary based installations." or something similar should be added to the Wiki documentation?

TommyP gravatar image TommyP  ( 2013-09-28 22:43:11 -0500 )edit

@TommyP: feel free to do so! :-) Even if it's only a link to a place explaining the thing. And oh, http://wiki.ros.org/Packages and http://wiki.ros.org/Stacks do not yet mention catkin packages at all.

felix k gravatar image felix k  ( 2013-09-29 23:25:00 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-09-25 02:54:50 -0500

Seen: 103 times

Last updated: Sep 28 '13