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Elvis Packaging questions

I have received a couple of bug reports, and I am about to make a new
version of elvis which fixes them.  Anyway in the last release of elvis
(2.0-6) I managed a temporary workaround for the dpkg complex dependancy
bug (#4947), but in order to get elvis to install over the old version
(2.0-4), some files from the old package elviscmn get left on the system. 

Does anybody know a way to manually force dpkg to completely purge and
remove an old package. (Please do not suggest that I use "Replaces:
elviscmn" and "Conflicts: elviscmn".  It does not work, due to bug #4947. 
I am asking for OTHER ways to get this done manually that wont mess up the
Debian stuff, and will not leave the old package elviscmn on the system.) 
I want to fix this, because the changes needed to dpkg are not likely to
happen anytime soon, and I suspect somebody will eventually complain about
elvis leaving droppings all over their system... The following demonstrates
the problem: 

root@Dillweed% dpkg -i elviscmn_2.0-4.deb
[output snipped]
root@Dillweed% dpkg -i elvisnox_2.0-4.deb
[output snipped]
root@Dillweed% dpkg -i elvis_2.0-6.deb
[output snipped]
root@Dillweed% dpkg -L elvisnox
Package `elvisnox' is not installed.

Use dpkg --info (= dpkg-deb --info) to examine archive files,
and dpkg --contents (= dpkg-deb --contents) to list their contents.
aroot@Dillweed% dpkg -L elviscmn

All these files are leftovers and should be removed.  Any ideas on how to
remove them (without breaking the packaging system) are welcome.  Is there
any way for a script to check if a particular package is installed?  Doing
something like:

if [ `dpkg -??? elviscmn` != "0" ] ; then   #if true, elviscmn is installed
	dpkg --purge elviscmn
	rm -rf /usr/lib/elvis   # This removes the old configuration files
	exit 0

This would allow a pre-install script to remove the old package. 
Unfortunatly, I do not know of any option for dpkg to do this...


Erik B. Andersen        Web:    http://www.et.byu.edu/~andersee/ 
2485 South State St.    email:  andersee@et.byu.edu or andersee@debian.org
Springville, Ut 84663   phone:  (801) 489-1231
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