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Important changes in dpkg 1.14.18 in sid

After one week in experimental, we have uploaded the latest dpkg
to sid. It's targetted for lenny even if we missed the base freeze
of a few days (see our freeze exception request [1]). For full
details please check out the changelog of 1.14.17 [2] and 1.14.18 [3].

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-release/2008/04/msg00155.html
[2] http://packages.qa.debian.org/d/dpkg/news/20080330T101705Z.html
[3] http://packages.qa.debian.org/d/dpkg/news/20080409T191703Z.html

Triggers support
The long awaited triggers support (developed by Ian Jackson)
has been merged by Guillem Jover. It's now possible to use this feature to
factorize some processing currently done multiple times in different
post-installation scripts. See the manual pages deb-triggers(5) and
dpkg-trigger(1), and also /usr/share/doc/dpkg/triggers.txt.gz.

Numerous suggestions of triggers usage have already been made on
debian-devel in a thread started by Joey Hess. [4]

[4] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2008/03/msg00931.html

New source package formats
dpkg-source now supports several new source package formats (see
its manual page dpkg-source(1) [5]) thanks to the work of Raphaël
Hertzog, Frank Lichtenheld, Joey Hess (git based source package)
and Colin Watson (bzr based source package).

Among them is a variant of wig&pen named "3.0 (quilt)". It has been
written to become the default/recommended source package format in
lenny+1. It solves many issues with the current source package format:
- it supports bzip2 and lzma along with the usual gzip
- it supports multiple upstream tarballs
- it supports inclusion of binary files (no need anymore to uuencode a
  Debian specific PNG icon for example)
- instead of a single "diff" it can make use of multiple (logical)
  patches stored in debian/patches/. It is compatible with quilt (hence
  its name) but does not require its usage as dpkg-source is able to
  do everything needed by itself. It applies patches at extraction time
  and update the patch series at build time.

Bug #457345 [6] is the wishlist bug tracking the dak modification that
will be needed to accept those new source package formats.

For this plan to come to reality in lenny+1, lenny's dpkg-source must
fully support the new format so that stable user can extract source
packages grabbed in unstable. Thus it's important to test the new
format right now, so that we can push any fixes/improvements in the
code shipped in lenny.

[5] http://people.debian.org/~hertzog/dpkg-source.html
[6] http://bugs.debian.org/457345

New Checksums-* fields in .dsc and .changes
Since MD5 is known to be weak, Frank Lichtenheld modified
dpkg-genchanges and dpkg-source so that they add (multiple) Checksums-*
fields (SHA1 and SHA256 currently) to the files they generate. The "format
version" of the changes files has been increased to 1.8 due to this

This change has broken some tools in some unexpected ways (dupload [7],
sbuild [8]). By putting the Files field last in those files we worked
around the limitations of those tools but they still need to be updated.
If you have a *.dsc or *.changes parser in your software, you might want
to check how it behaves and update it to support those new fields. debsign
had to be updated[9] because it edits the Files: field of *.changes and
was not updating the new Checksums-* field. dak is already verifying those

[7] http://bugs.debian.org/473518
[8] http://bugs.debian.org/470440
[9] http://bugs.debian.org/474949

Improvements in dpkg-shlibdeps
dpkg-shlibdeps has been further improved by Raphaël: by default the
warnings about unneeded libraries will only be displayed if they are
unneeded at the package level (instead doing the analysis for each
binary independently). A new --warnings option lets you choose the set of
warnings to enable. It can be useful for example to disable the
warning about "symbol not found" for packages containing only plugins
which are not recognized as such because they have a SONAME.

Help appreciated
As usual, volunteers are welcome. The BTS still contains more than 450
entries [10] (roughly half bugs and half wishlists). Subscribing to the
PTS[11] is recommended if you want to help out.

You can also checkout the TODO list [12] integrated in the git repository
and our team wiki page [13]. The latter also contains information on how
to use the git repository. Feel free to join #debian-dpkg on
irc.debian.org to get in touch with us.

[10] http://bugs.debian.org/src:dpkg
     Nice graph: http://people.debian.org/~glandium/bts/d/dpkg.png
[11] http://packages.qa.debian.org/d/dpkg.html
[12] http://git.debian.org/?p=dpkg/dpkg.git;a=blob;f=TODO;hb=master
[13] http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Dpkg

The dpkg team (Guillem, Frank, Raphaël)

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