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Re: "dselect" replacement team

Ian Jackson <ian@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:

> (b) determine whether parsing time for that file really is
> significant as a proportion of dpkg's startup (hint: it isn't);

This is what I was talking about recently.  Obviously I agree.

> (c) consider whether they are an appropriate person to be involved in
> this entirprise if they're willing to throw away working parts of the
> system without a good reason and without understanding the issues or
> code involved.

I think quite a few people underestimate the complexity involved in
getting the dpkg internals right.  I know that I hadn't even thought
of all the issues involved in say, what to do when you run out of disk
space during an install, until it was mentioned in some other context
comparing packaging systems.

> dselect should continue to call dpkg to get dpkg to do the actual
> installastion and removal; this way dpkg can continue to ensure that
> the system doesn't get hosed and mistakes in dselect are less
> important.


> Doing this will also ensure that there is nothing that dselect does
> that cannot also be done from the command-line, which I think (and, it
> seems, others think) is an important property which should be
> preserved.

Again absolutely.

> There is a problem with dpkg's startup time, duie to the structure of
> the *.list files in /var/lib/dpkg/info.  I have some ideas about how
> to fix this, but it really ought to wait for me to do it, because
> there are several complicated issues involved.

Well, the problem is that you don't seem to have the time (not that I
can blame you) for these improvements.  It would be really nice if we
eventually have several people capable of understanding, maintaining,
and improving the tools so we don't have a single point of failure.

It might be worthwhile for you to discuss your ideas (like the fixes
you mention above) in public now and then so that people get a better
idea of the issues involved, the complexities concerned, and won't be
as likely to go off half-cocked, or waste time coming up with
solutions for problems where you've already found a solution.


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