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Re: dpkg reassembly of split packages, when to purge

On Tue, 12 Sep 1995, Ian Jackson wrote:

> dpkg, whenever you ask it to [...] will [...]
> Multipart packages [...] will only appear once in dselect.
> The question is when to delete the copies in /var/lib/dpkg ?

It seems to me then it'd not be unreasonable to consider dselect
a high-level tool operating on complete packages (either single
part or multipart with all parts present), likely used by many
users unschooled on the behind-the-scenes dpkg subtleties, and
clean up uncompleted work on exit.  It'd probably be a good idea
to have it write an error log and, if errors happened during
[I]nstall and [C]onfigure operations, point users to that log.
[I]nstall and [C]onfigure are pretty talkative, and error
output can easily go unnoticed during those operations.

dpkg, by contrast, would be a lower level tool.  It'd not
be unreasonable to expect users to have educated themselves
about it somewhat by reading its documentation, and to have
it retain uncompleted work (e.g., package fragments from
incomplete multipart packages) between invocations.

It also seems to me that it'd not be unreasonable to clean up
uncompleted dpkg work on reboot, either by placing the files
in a directory which is cleaned up during boot or by cleaning
up manually from a rc.boot/dpkg script, and to document this
clearly in the dpkg documentation.

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