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Re: MSDOS name conversion

>The longer I read this thread, the more I get convinced that we should  
>simply stop having gigantic, unsplit packages in Debian. There's not  
>really any benefit in having them, and there is obvious benefit in having  
>split packages.

Oh!  And you were doing so well until you made this last sweeping comment
about no benefits for not splitting files.  Despite the fact that some people
have brought up many valid reasons to split up debian files into bite sized
chunks, I think other people have clearly demonstrated that there are
benefits to the current structure of big single-file packages.

>Anyway, I don't see why you want to have some people jump through hoops to  
>prevent others from imaginary problems.

Those problems are no more imaginary than the ones you brought up.

>> A perl script would handle most implementations.  Not to mention, which of
>> these platforms don't already have some sort of "split" program?  Don't
>> tell me you're running OS/2 or NT from floppy?
>Why do you think OS/2 or NT *need* a "split" program? (Incidentally, at  
>least OS/2 doesn't have one.)

I'm sure there is a shareware OS/2 program that can do the trick.

>> BOTTOM LINE:  There are better solutions than splitting the files in the
>>               distribution.
>BOTTOM LINE: You certainly didn't show any solution I would not call a
>             *lot* worse.

The current system with large files for each package:
  - fewer files (less adminstrative overhead)
  - dpkg/dselect/dftp don't need to change (not that they aren't going to
      change anyways for other reasons)
  - for floppy users, depending on the split/splice program and
      capabilities of the machine you're installing debian on, you can
      automatically split a file optimally onto a set of disks and then
      automatically splice them together at the other end.  (e.g., using
      DOS utils like: pkzip, arj, slice)

  - floppy users must use a split/splice program
  - depending on the split/splice program and capabilities of the machine
      you're installing debian on, you must manually put the files back
      together again. (e.g., using UNIX split/cp/cat)
  - people with bad phone lines won't have to keep downloading the same big
      file if they have errors.

Split every package into 1.44M (1.2M) pieces:
  - can recover from ftp/sz crashes easier
  - can fit files onto floppies without the aid of a split/slice program

  - should they split into 1.44M chunks or 1.2M chunks?
  - still have to manually copy each file onto the disk (several DOS based
     split programs will do it for you: pkzip, arj, slice...)
  - 2-4 times the number of files. (administrative overhead)
  - changes to dpkg, dselect and dftp
     - find all parts of package by either the UNIX or DOS filename
     - make sure all parts are present
     - check each part against it's own MD5sum
  - More disk space is used (each file must have it's own header and has
      1-4k of dead space at the end depending on block/inode size)
      (granted, this is mostly negligible)

I wouldn't call it "a *lot* worse".  I'd just call the current system 
inconvenient for floppy users and people with bad phone lines.  (did I miss

Anyone using the following mechanisms don't benefit at all from pre-split
up files:
  - those with good phone lines
  - those who download/upgrade debian with sz with crash recovery
  - those who use a network to install/upgrade debian
  - those who a cdrom to install/upgrade debian

All I know is that I'm sure glad I don't have to maintain my debian system
from floppy!

Behan Webster

------------------------------ ,-------------------------------------------.
Behan Webster                  | The opinions expressed above are mine and |
behanw@bnr.ca                  | in no way reflect those of BNR or N@RTEL. |
(613) 765-5502                 `-------------------------------------------'

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