[ros-users] Update to new stack.xml format potentially breaks Fuerte for many users

Tully Foote tfoote at willowgarage.com
Sat Jun 30 03:47:32 UTC 2012

Hi Jack and Lorenz,

We've been trying different installation mechanisms and
pypi/pip/easy_install although quick and easy to start has started showing
some major holes in it's implementation (unable to uninstall, partial
upgrade failures, etc)  Recently we've worked out how to release these pure
python packages as debian packages and now as you know rospkg is available
as debian packages.

The issue we're running into is that the pypi based installations override
the debian based ones, and usually update correctly, however as we progress
with the debian releases the pypi based installations don't get updated
with the rest of the system.

With these recent problems using pip/easy_install we've decided to make the
effort and debianize all the things we are currently distributing through
pypi.  So that Ubuntu users will always just use apt.  We will keep the
pypi mechanism for it is better than nothing on the other platforms.

As we've now worked out all the known blockers for deploying catkin, we're
preparing to present it for review and with that we are also planning to
fork for Groovy. (And as Jack mentioned this is a separate but relevant


On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM, Jack O'Quin <jack.oquin at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 4:22 AM, Lorenz Mösenlechner <moesenle at in.tum.de>
> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > the recent addition of multiple author lines to the stack.xml file in
> > the ROS stack is incompatible with the specification used in previous
> > versions of the rospkg library distributed with ROS Fuerte. This is
> > not a big issue on freshly installed ROS systems since there is a Debian
> > package for rospkg now. However, when installing rosdep using
> > easy_install or pip, it also pulls in rospkg, whether or not it has
> > been installed already using the Debian package.
> >
> > Based on a few questions at answers.ros.org, it seems like this
> > change caused a lot of trouble. It looks like people followed the
> > install instructions from the wiki page and installed rosdep. At some
> > point, they updated ROS to the new version with the changes to
> > stack.xml. Without doing an additional easy_install or pip update or
> > removing rospkg from /usr/local/lib by hand, this results in a broken
> > ROS installation where even roscore doesn't work anymore.
> Well said, Lorentz.
> This was a very serious breakage. Updating the Debian packages on my
> primary Fuerte/Oneiric ROS development system caused roscore to stop
> working. That should *never* happen with a released distribution.
> > While this update does fix some other problems related to the ROS
> > stack.xml file,
> > I really wonder if it was a good idea to make such a fundamental
> > change in a released and officially stable ROS distro. Maybe it's time
> > to branch off for Groovy?
> I am not sure even that would fix the root cause of this problem. We
> have essential build tools being distributed separately from the
> distributions.
> We need a wiki page explaining exactly which Python packages to
> install for running, building and releasing packages for each
> supported distribution. We also need a way to determine whether those
> packages are up to date.
> > Also, why does rosdep actually still depend on rospkg although it is
> > now installed through apt? I don't feel like it's good to have two
> > possibly conflicting versions of rospkg installed on my system.
> My development system is still broken, despite several attempts to
> straighten things out using easy_install and pip. The fact that
> easy_install provides no clean way to uninstall something makes things
> more difficult. It is far too confusing, trying to figure out which
> scripts are installed via Debian packages, which are installed via pip
> or easy_install, and what are the dependencies between them.
> --
>  joq
> _______________________________________________
> ros-users mailing list
> ros-users at code.ros.org
> https://code.ros.org/mailman/listinfo/ros-users

Tully Foote
tfoote at willowgarage.com
(650) 475-2827
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