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debmake & dpkg

I have strong reservations about most of Christoph Lameter's

> - automatically locate packages when just a packagename is given
>   (invoke ftp or whatever means configured to get the package)
> - automatically install packages depended on by a package

I think that this is the job of dselect.  dselect should have a
`noninteractive' mode where you say:
  dselect --install spong
and it finds spong and things it depends on and installs them.

> - some system wide configuration file for how to handle docs /manpages
>   1. Do not install (I am running several low resource systems that
>      I wish would not waste resources on manpages and docs)
>   2. Install (uncompressed)
>   3. Install and compress (with as much as possible fixing automatically
>      the links etc shifting the debmake functionality to the point of
>      installation).
>   For that purpose there needs to be some way of telling dpkg what is
>   a documentation file and what not. RPM has a similar functionality.

I think that this is best done with pattern-pased file exclusion.  I
don't think that conditional compression is necessary.

> - Checksums stored in the .deb package and a function to verify the
>   integrity of installed files.

My views on per-file checksums are well-known.

> - Get rid of all the single files in /var/lib/dpkg/info and use
>   a database instead to provide faster operation (RPM is much faster
>   than dpkg!). Set up a library interface to access the datastructures
>   which would be a superset of the rpm library so that rpm tools could
>   use the dpkg library (We are hijacking their tools with this move!)
>   rpm could run with the dpkg library and install rpm packages without
>   conversion ....

This is a very bad idea.  dpkg's databases are carefully designed to
avoid bad lossage in case of disk overflow, bad sectors, &c, and to be
manually fixable when required.  Typical database solutions do not
have these important properties.


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