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Bug#1003653: Revision of removal of rename.ul from package util-linux


I am the current src:util-linux maintainer and have become aware of
this bug by pure coincidence.

* Christoph Berg <myon@debian.org> [220121 16:28]:
> > A user requested in Debian bug report #926637
> > (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=926637) to include
> > rename.ul in Debian's alternatives system. The package maintainer replied:
> > 
> > "The util-linux rename command does not implement the same (command line)
> > interface as the alternative(s) does, so it is not policy compliant to
> > add it as an alternative."
> > 
> > As a result, the maintainer completely removed rename.ul from the package
> > util-linux without providing any further reference to this Debian policy.
> That's a pretty surprising resolution of a bug asking to be able to
> use "rename" more easily.

I have now asked about the history of rename, and was pointed to
#735134, which moved rename from src:perl to a new source package
and out of build-essential.

You can find the history in there, and by people that know more
about the different rename implementations, the claim that the
implementations are incompatible (or at least, not compatible).

I see absolutely zero point in shipping a program under a
non-default name in an essential package, which apparently only
very few users ever knew about.

If the util-linux rename should be made easier to use, then it
should become the one and only provider of /usr/bin/rename, and it
should not be in an essential package.

Generally speaking, the essential packages built by util-linux
install lots of things they should not. My longer term plan is to
reduce that, but as you can guess, this will take time.

I guess it would be possible for one of the non-essential
src:util-linux binary packages to take over /usr/bin/rename in a
coordinated way from src:rename, but I do not know how attached
people are to the existing /usr/bin/rename.

Side note: src:rename installs /usr/bin/rename using
update-alternatives, but no other package participates in this
alternative. I guess this is a transition leftover.


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