[ros-users] REP for Third Party Package Releasing

William Woodall wwoodall at willowgarage.com
Wed Feb 20 20:25:11 UTC 2013

I have drafted a REP, tentatively REP-136, which is an Informational REP
providing a recommendation for how to release third party packages into the
ROS ecosystem. In this context a third party package is any software
package which is used in the ROS ecosystem, but exists outside of the ROS
ecosystem, and therefore is neither catkin based nor rosbuild based.

You can find this draft REP here:


And the pull request containing the drafting history is here:


To summarize the recommendation, third party packages should:

   - Have a package.xml
      - Which run_depend's on catkin
      - Has a <build_type> tag in the <export> section
   - Install the package.xml

Notice this recommendation does not involve buildtool_depend'ing on catkin,
and it does not require the use of catkin in the build system. This can
either be accomplished by putting the package.xml and its install rule into
the upstream repository of the third party library or by injecting the
package.xml and install rule into the release repository using bloom.

The REP covers many more details related to the rationale of this
recommendation, consequences of this style of releasing third party
packages, and links to resources related to this change.

Please submit any feedback to the ros-sig-buildsystem mailing list.


William Woodall
Willow Garage - Software Engineer
wwoodall at willowgarage.com
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