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Re: How to make Packages file 50% smaller

I suggest splitting off each description into a separate file, like Brian
suggests, and then having dselect et al download descriptions on
demand. That's almost as fast and helps everyone.



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G>+++ e--> h! !r y>+++ 

On 3 Mar 2001, Brian May wrote:

> Hello,
> Does this file really *need* to contain long verbose descriptions of
> packages?
> Just by removing the long description (the short description remains),
> I can cut the compressed file size by over 50%:
> [1021] [snoopy:bam] ~/admin/linux >cat /var/lib/apt/lists/ftp.melb.apana.org.au_mirror_debian_dists_potato_main_binary-i386_Packages | gzip | wc 
>    3309   19009  828014
> [1022] [snoopy:bam] ~/admin/linux >cat /var/lib/apt/lists/ftp.melb.apana.org.au_mirror_debian_dists_potato_main_binary-i386_Packages | grep -v "^ " | gzip | wc 
>    1424    8364  384015
> which would have significant benefits for people like my who don't
> have high speed ISDN connections and/or have to pay for bandwidth
> used.
> This is becoming more and more important, especially now that apt-get
> can use all stable, testing, and unstable Packages in a useful manner.
> I can't think of any useful role this long description serves to
> apt-get, other then displaying of package information for users (with
> apt-cache), in which case, you could use
> <URL:http://packages.debian.org/$package instead>.
> However, I imagine this might upset some people, so why not split the
> description into a separate file, so you only have to download it if
> you really want it? (perhaps even only for one distribution instead of
> all of them).
> Other proposals in the past to do similar things have failed, or
> require more time for development before they are usable:
> - rsync: uses too much load on the server.
> - rproxy: requires Packages uncompressed, and these may be removed
> from the servers in the future, see #81657. Furthermore I have had
> serious problems with current Debian versions of rproxy, see #83603.
> - rsync friendly gzip: (shows potential; still waiting).
> I think this proposal has the benefit that it is simple, easy to
> understand, and can be achieved without *now* without major changes,
> except perhaps some way to use the separated description file.
> Comments?
> -- 
> Brian May <bam@debian.org>
> -- 
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