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Re: Dpkg Update Proposal

First of all: please use a standard textwidth of at most 76. Right now
your mail frankly looks horrible. Only due to vim's awesome reformating
power is sending a reply doable :)

Previously fantumn Steven Baker" wrote:
> Package Naming Scheme
> -----------------------
> The current naming scheme of many packages is a mess, to say the
> leasy. This, of course applies almost exclusively applies to
> libraries, but there are some other packages that could use some help
> (Electric Eyes, and Easy Editor come to mind).

Reading forward I never see why those two are mentioned here..

> The problem is inconsistency.  Some package names, speaking about
> libraries here, are prefixed with the word 'lib', as in libgtk, and
> some are not, as in Imlib.

Generally speaking all libraries are prefixed with `lib' and include
their soname. This isn't policy, although it might be a nice addition.

> My solution, after long thought and working out, is to simply modify
> the Debian Package Management system to allow multiple versions of
> packages to be installed.

I really dislike this approach. Having multiple version of a package
makes very little sense, but any discussion depends on how you define a
package. Are libc5 and libc6 the same package, since both implement the
standard C library and runtime-code, or are they different packages
since they different packages since they are completely (binary in this
case) incompatible? This is where RH and Debian seem to differ: for RH
they become the same package, and you need multiple versions of the same
package to support all applications. This is probably why they need
hacks like dependencies on files to get this working. For Debian we use
different packages, which makes the process much more transparent.
We seperate the packages by (again, using libraries as an example)
adding the soname of the library to the packagename, which explains the
occasionally weird-looking packagenames.

> Another feature that I would like to see implemented, is something
> that would check all dependencies for dead libraries "ie, libraries
> that aren't used", perhaps this would be done by a program seperate
> to dpkg.

This should definitely not be in dpkg, but in a frontend such as apt or


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