Bug#4057: compress package install additional zcat
Michael Meskes writes:
> Package: compress-package
> Version: 1.2-1
> Compiling and installing the compress source found on ftp.inria.fr I get a
> file /usr/bin/zcat. However, gzip already install zcat in /bin. I cannot see
> how it's useful to have both. :-)
Hmmm. This is somewhat more complex than it looks like. I cannot just
remove /usr/bin/zcat because it is intimately linked with compress.
If you say 'man compress' for example you'll get the synopsis for zcat
too and if the corresponding zcat would not be provided then I think
users can be confused.
In addition I have no control about what programs will be built by
make-cpkg. A gzip program could even be generated (now that I think
of it, this is something I could check for!). What I want to say is
that it is really difficult to filter things in the generated package
because of documentation, related files etc.
My opinion is that gzip should *not* provide /bin/zcat but rather
/bin/gzcat (and the same for other z* tools). The /bin/zcat program
is just *not* zcat, it also handles gzip files which the original
zcat program cannot do. I think that we should have /bin/gzcat (or
even /usr/bin/gzcat because gzip only should be enough in /bin) and
have /usr/bin/zcat be a symbolic link to gzcat installed by the gzip
package (and not an alternative as I suggested before). And most
importantly people should refrain from using zcat in scripts when the
intent is to gunzip something...
If gzcat was provided and /usr/bin/zcat a symbolic link to it, the
zcat link would correctly be diverted by any compress-package
generated package and nobody would have two semantically different
zcat commands installed by installing these packages.