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Re: Packaging system improvements

On Sun, 6 Jul 1997, Tom Lees wrote:

> 1. We need to add a "Keywords: ..." line to the control file for each
>    package. However, the success of this depends more on the keywords
>    individual maintainers put in their packages keyword lists than the
>    presence of special features for it.

What for?

> 2. We need a way of including and excluding specific directories from
>    the install of a package, or moving them. This will be dealt with
>    by deity, but the main "dpkg" program should also be capable of
>    handling this.

I thought the idea was to provide a libdpkg and have both deity and dpkg
use that, so any features would be available to both and to any other user
interfaces anyone might want to make?

> 3a. We need to standardize on a location where Debianized sources
>     installed on a system should be put, and the format of this tree.

So long as it is still easy to install sources in an arbitrary location.

> 3e. We need a method of building packages as a non-root user.

If fakeroot does what it should, it looks like being the neatest solution
to that and wouldn't need any changes to anything.

> 5. We need to speed up the initial reading of the files when dpkg is
>    invoked. The reason for this slowness is that in
>    /var/lib/dpkg/info, there are a great many (580 on my system)
>    files, and a large amount of these are read upon startup (*.list,
>    *.conffiles) of dpkg (244 on my system). This can be done using a
>    libdb database, and stat'ing the /var/lib/dpkg/info files on
>    startup.

Yes, that would be a big improvement.

> 9. Currently, we have a problem with the architecture field as used by
>    dpkg. It assumes that the architecture is Linux. This means that
>    there is a fairly poor portability to other Operating Systems. For
>    example, "mbr" is a generic i386 package, but most are Linux-specific.

No it isn't, it's a generic PC BIOS package. There could be other i386
based systems that booted differently.

>    For deity, I have been developing a system which allows transparent
>    access to the user interface to ask questions of the user,
>    etc.

Will they still work if people don't use deity but instead install
directly using dpkg?

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