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Re: Packages should not Conflict on the basis of duplicate functionality

>What is wrong with the semantics of `dpkg --force-conflicts' as it
>stands?  That it confuses packages like `apt-get', whinging about
>broken packages, or some other reason?

If both packages contain the same file with exactly the same
functionality, there is no problem.

However, if both packages contain a different implementation of the
same file (or even worse - a completely different program with the same
name), then things will break, depending on what order the
programs are installed in.

The warning messages produced when a file does conflict have a tendancy
to scroll of the top of the screen, and unless you are paying attention,
there is no way (that I know of) to find what files (if any) conflict
after installing multiple packages. If I submit a bug report
against package X, how are you, the maintainer to know that
it is broken, because an important file, eg /usr/bin/z was overwritten
by packge Y, which does something completely different?

Also, --force-conflicts can hide other serious problems. eg if your
package diverts a file, but with the wrong package name, when dpkg
unpacks it, it will overwrite the original file.

Brian May <bam@snoopy.apana.org.au>

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