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Modifying Debian for Infrastructures--Step 1

For installing packages on a cluster of machines, we chose to install
to a globally visible filesystem.  There are directory subtrees for
different versions of the same package and for different
architectures.  The individual machines use sym-link farms  (created
with slink or stow) to run these packages.  In a first step we would
like to modify source packages such that the installation directories
become parametrized and choosable at build time as a command line

Our current ideas are:

o    The debian source package already standardized what goes where.

     o    Different versions of Debian may have different layouts--but
          that's predictable.

     o    We believe that using SED or similar to substitute all
          /usr/bin, /etc, /usr/doc/, etc with some kind of a variable
          would be the right approach. This makes it irrelevant
          whether a certain path is coded in Makefile, a Makefile.in,
          a c source file, or whatever else.

     o    The only caveat we could think off was quoted slashes
          "\/usr\/bin" and path that are constructed from multiple
          variables.  The former case could possibly be automated; we
          don't see a solution for the latter.

o    We write a simple wrapper around the build tool that adds a first
     step that substitutes all the above variables to the path
     specified on the command line.

We would greatly appreciate any help with the following questions:

o    will this approach work?  Is there something we didn't think of?

o    which are the path that have to be substituted?  Where is the
     Debian doc that lists them all?

Many thanks

-- bud

| Bud P. Bruegger, Ph.D.  |  mailto:bud@sistema.it                       |
| Sistema                 |  http://www.sistema.it                       |
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