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Re: Debian's problems, Debian's future

On Wed, 27 Mar 2002, Jeroen Dekkers wrote:

> > dpkg and apt are designed to manage all the data in one single volume.
> > This may have worked fine in Slink times, but now, the volume explodes.
> > We need to make decissions. I suggest a three level structure:


> And this *fixes nothing*. When Debian grows and we a 3 times as much
> packages, the Packages filesize is as big as it is now. I think my
> solutions, providing packages files for each source package, is
> better. I don't see a better solution at the moment, I'm really
> interested if somebody knows a much better scheme. Keep in mind that
> my proposed layout provides a lot of flexibility.

I'd suggest using diffs, as this brings the best results and is the
easiest to implement. The FTP servers have the usual Packages.gz file (so
we don't lose compatibility) plus daily diffs. The number of diffs kept
varies, you delete them when it would be faster to download the entire
Packages file than the diffs leading to our version. When updating, APT
simply starts with the oldest diff it would need to update, if it gets a
404, it will fetch the whole file. This would speed up the downloads.
Later, we could teach APT how to update the cache from the diffs, but this
is only a minor issue for most (Package list import: 486/120: 45 secs,
m68060/50: 30 secs => acceptable for now).

Total cost for Debian: FTP space needed increases by about the size of the
Packages files. I think the decrease in network traffic is worth it.


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