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

[just come to actually read this thread, rather late in the day - too many
mailing lists! Apologies for late responses]

On Sun 16 Jun, Philip Blundell wrote:
> 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.

That is precisely the case.

> 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.

I said all this when familiar started up but a) udebs were a bit too new then
to be convincing and b) they went on and did what they wanted to do anyway -
and to be fair have produced something very useful and an active community
around it :-)

And my and other's experience of using dpkg on 16 MB Psions and 32MB ipaqs is
that it can easily run out of ram and barf, whilst ipkg does not have this
problem - but that's the tool - nothing to do with the file format.

adjusting dpkg for smaller devices would definately be a 'good thing' TM.

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