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Re: package servers inconsistent?

On Wed, May 02, 2001 at 10:33:27PM +0200, Harald Dunkel wrote:

> Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > [...]
> Maybe its too difficult to provide consistent package files for the short
> window while the mirror updates are running. No cons.
> But is it possible to set some kind of flag to indicate that I am probably
> downloading just some inconsistent files and that I should wait till the
> update of the mirror is complete? I have no problem with waiting, but
> currently I can just try and check whether there was an error.

It would be pretty simple to create a file to indicate this condition, which
could be tested for when doing an update.  However, I don't see how it would
provide any additional information over the error messages from missing
packages.  After all, if the user's upgrade will only fetch a few packages,
it's likely that the packages they want are already in place, and their upgrade
would be successful (especially if these packages happen to fall at the
beginning of the alphabet).

> > The solution would involve syncing all new .debs (without deleting any),
> > then updating the Packages files, then removing the old .debs.  This has
> > the nice side effect of ensuring that things are consistent even if the
> > update is interrupted, but would consume a lot of additional mirror space
> > during the updates, and complicate the process.
> > 
> > Another "solution" would be to remove the Packages files during the update,
> > but I think almost everyone would rather have an inconsistent Packages file
> > than none at all.
> > 
> Sorry, but this is not true. An inconstistent package file (i.e. a database
> of packages that might be no longer available) is of no use. If the package
> file doesn't exist I know that something is going on and that I should try
> again later.

I disagree; a packages file (even without any associated .debs) is useful; it
gives a list of packages, descriptions, dependencies, and other information.
It can be used to determine whether there are any new packages to download, or
to find whether a package exists.  It would be annoying to lose this
functionality during a mirror update.

What about stable?  Removing the stable Packages file during an update would
make it impossible to do a network install.

 - mdz

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