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Why does dpkg overwrite files?

I've had a couple of problems recently which appear to be due to more
than one package containing a file, which dpkg then overwrites, and then
removing one of the packages leaves the other in an inconsistent state.
This is clearly a problem; whether it's a bug I'm not sure, but I think

However, I was going to ask: why? Surely these packages should use divert
or alternatives or something? And is there any reason why I shouldn't use
--refuse-overwrite in dpkg-mountable, and report bugs against packages
which include the same file as each other? This is AFAICT a totally
unnecessary problem to have, and since dpkg-mountable is in experimental
(and, unless anybody objects, will stay there until a bit after the next
release), with a bit of luck people will know how to install packages
manually. But it seems to me that this is a problem, and taking some sort
of action like this is the only way to get this fixed.

Comments/criticism/flames, anyone?


Andy Mortimer, andy.mortimer@poboxes.com
Finger asm21@asm21.emma.cam.ac.uk for PGP public key
It goes dark, it goes darker still; please stay.
But I watch like I'm made of stone, as you walk away.

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