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I would like to install Evince 2.32 in Lucid (10.04)

  1. Is there any safe way to do it ?
  2. Download the source and start install all the required dependences is this approach dangerous for the stability of my system ?

I googled for a solution of this problem and the only suggestion I found it was to add the ppa:irie/evince. I guess this is a not so safe am I right ? If so it is expected to work with Lucid ?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Wow, I wrote a lot more than I was planning on. So here's the tl;dr version:

It would be simpler to upgrade the entire system to Maverick than backport Evince 2.32.x to Lucid.

Is it safe?

First we need to address the question of whether this is safe. In most instances, installing new versions of so-called "leaf" packages will not effect the stability of your system. A "leaf" package is a package that provides a standalone application that no other packages depend on. Evince, unfortunately for your purposes, is not entirely a simple "leaf" package.

Evince 2.30.x also provides the libraries libevdocument2 and libevview2. While Evince 2.32.x provides libevdocument3 and libevview3. Notice the libraries' have different numbers. This shows that there has been a SONAME bump meaning that there have been incompatible changes to the ABIs of these libraries. Other programs that rely on libevdocument2 and libevview2 may not function with libevdocument3 and libevview3.

Fortunately, at least on my system, there are no other programs that rely on libevdocument2 and libevview2 besides Evince itself. So is it safe? Probably!

Is ppa:irie/evince safe?

As with any other PPA, this question comes down to whether or not you trust the owner of the PPA, in this case irie. There are a few ways that I use to determine whether I trust a PPA like looking at the breadth of their contributions. Are they also a upstream developer? Are they an Ubuntu developer? Does their Launchpad page show on going activity?

As for this specific PPA, it seems to introduce change that are not yet upstream:

This PPA provides slightly enhanced Evince document viewer that pan scroll mode (like "Hand tool" in Adobe Reader) is added. It's probably suitable for touch panel based computers. The code changes are based on a patch written by Stephen Sugden. (http://mail.gnome.org/archives/evince-list/2009-June/msg00027.html)

But more importantly, it doesn't seem to have packages for Lucid. So it will not help you anyways.

Backporting it on your own

So since its safe, is it doable? It depends on just how much you want it. Unfortunately, it would take quite a bit of work to backport Evince 2.32.x to Lucid. Backporting a singe package isn't that much work, but looking at the source code I can see that it's not just Evince that needs backporting. It needs newer versions of libglib2.0-dev, libgtk2.0-dev, libpoppler-glib-dev, and libcairo2-dev that are not available in Lucid. Those are core GNOME libraries that are about the complete opposite of "leaf" packages. You would need to backport the entire chain of dependencies.

In short, doing so is very complicated , time consuming, and potentially dangerous.

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Thank you very much for the answer andrewsomething. The main reason why I would like to run this version in Lucid is because this version is capable of to perform inverse search in PDF files using Synctex, which is very valuable feature for who is editing big texts. –  Leandro Dec 13 '10 at 0:02

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