Most packages that were built in the incorrect way
were documentation, but some others were written in
Interpreted languages. (like Python)
(1) Many documentation packages are probably really architecture
independent, but if architecture dependent binaries were built from the same
source package, the documentation package is archictecture dependent, too,
for purely practical reasons. This is especially the case for all gtk-doc
(2) Python modules are not noarch! Marking them as noarch is one of the most
frequent mistakes made by third party packagers. To find out if a package is
noarch, do *not* ask yourself "is it written in an interpreted language" -
ask yourself "will the unmodified RPM work on all architectures". For Python
modules, the answer to this question is "no".
One example of interpreted language package that is
i586 but should be
noarch is :
No! Look at the file list of the eric package:
As you can see, all the Python modules are installed in
"/usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages". And now, where is the site-packages
directory on x86_64? It's in "/usr/lib64/python2.4/site-packages".
the unmodified RPM will *not* work on x86_64, and that's why the package has
to be architecture dependent even though Python is an interpreted language.
By the way, even pure shell scripts can be architecture specific if they
hardcode "/usr/lib" or "/usr/lib64" somewhere.
I think it's quite a good opportunity to point that out here once and
forever, to improve the quality of third party packages for SUSE Linux.
Right now there are many, many pseudo-noarch Python packages from third
party repositories out there that simply don't work on x86_64.
As far as it concerns your examples of documentation packages: I had a quick
look over the list and am very sure that most of them are built from
architecture dependent source packages. To be honest, I don't think that
more than maybe a handful of packages in SUSE Linux are really incorrectly
marked as architecture specific.
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