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Re: Sources vs Packages files

On Thu, Apr 19, 2001 at 04:27:00PM +0200, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> > dists/*/main/binary-*/Packages{,.gz,.bz2} is the list of packages that are
> > available to be installed on a Debian system.
> That's a different term.

I'm not really sure what you're trying to say there.

The file dists/sid/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz contains a list
of packages suitable for installing on a i386 Debian system running
sid. That what it is. It's not going to change, because any changes to
that will break upgrades.

> I do not talk about packages available to be
> installed on a Debian system. I talk about a special architecture
> and a special "distribution", or in the terms of apt sources list,
> a "distribution component".

It's not a separate architecture. There's a separate debian-installer
section for each architecture. It's not a separate section, in the usual
distribution: it's more than that because the packages can't reasonably be
installed on Debian systems; it's not a separate component, because there
aren't legal differences in how the packages in there should be treated.

It's something truly different that we've never dealt with before. Trying
to force it into some mechanism we already have without considering how
they're not appropriate would be awkward and break things.

> > We're now providing (or soon will be, depending on your perspective)
> > a really minimal package based distribution for doing installs of the
> > real Debian system. These packages aren't suitable for installation into
> > a real Debian system, and they're not meant to be; so putting them into
> > main/binary-*/Packages* is just asking for users to break their systems
> > in random ways. This has been discussed on this list in the past.
> Joey took one further step and says that they are not even Debian packages.

They're udebs, not debs.

> Obviously not-Debian packages are not suited for installation on a Debian
> system "automatically".

Correct. And the way this is indicated is by segregating them into a
completely separate packages file.

> > > People often say that Debian strives fro technical excellence.  I can't see
> > > technical excellence in the introduction of the debian-installer
> > > subdirectory. I raised this issue because I think we can do better.
> > Sure we can. But the problem here isn't that the structure of the archive
> > is wrong, it's that the autobuilders haven't been particularly well
> > organised and consistent across architectures.
> This is the wrong way around. 

The work around you seem to be hinting that you'd like is some sort of
stable url where all the appropriate Packages files are cat'ed together so
you can run quinn-diff on them and not have to think about things anymore.
Everyone else involved considers this an ungainly hack, and would rather
work on making a more useful infrastructure to help out autobuilders,
which is being used by just about everyone but hurd now.

If you don't want to be a part of that, well, sure, whatever. It's
your life.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

``_Any_ increase in interface difficulty, in exchange for a benefit you
  do not understand, cannot perceive, or don't care about, is too much.''
                      -- John S. Novak, III (The Humblest Man on the Net)

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