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Re: Debian on the Sharp Zaurus/SL-5xxx

On Sun, 2002-06-16 at 17:19, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> Yes, there are quite a few of these.  I hardly see the point, though, of
> repackaging a ton of software in 'ipkg' format when we already have a ton of
> working infrastructure and existing packages for debs.  Frankly, I can't
> imagine why anyone would want to try to duplicate the effort that has been
> put into Debian/ARM.

Agreed.  A lot of the ipkgs are generated semi-mechanically from binary
.deb packages, rather than directly from source, but it's still a fairly
labour-intensive and gruesome process.

Apparently, the original reason why the familiar people started down the
ipkg route was that they didn't like the way .deb archives used two
different storage formats internally, "ar" for the control stuff and
"tar" for the data, meaning you needed a lot of code to handle the
package files.  But since busybox now includes a functioning dpkg
implementation with internal ar, this is now something of a moot point.

The other issue is obviously that .deb packages tend to install a load
of crud that you don't want on a device that only has 16MB of storage,
like documentation, and this was getting stripped out in the deb -> ipkg
conversion process.  But I think the way to solve that is using our
existing "udeb" technology, and persuading maintainers to start
generating small binary packages for portable use.


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