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Re: gcc 3.2 epoch?

On Wed, Jan 08, 2003 at 01:59:40PM -0500, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 08, 2003 at 03:32:02PM +0900, Junichi Uekawa wrote:
> > This makes me wonder: what is so wrong with an epoch ?
> > It's mostly invisible to most interfaces, 
> > and only used internally.
> The fact that it's invisible in some places and not in others is itself a
> problem; it is easy to get confused about the real version number of a
> package with an epoch.

I have been thinking about Debian version numbers, and decided I don't
like the current system, *if* *I* started a new system from scratch, I
would have 2 entities for each source/binary package:

- Debian package version, based entirely on the Debian revision, and
  not based on the upstream version (although the maintainer
  could decide to base the version on the upstream version
  if desired).

- upstream package version, stored as an attribute within the
  package, and also used for referencing upstream source.

So libc6 might be version x.11.2, for instance, and have
the attribute somewhere "Upstream-Version: 2.2.5" (taking
one version of one package at random).

This would have the following benefits:

- No need to mangle upstream version numbers in order to get them to
  sort correctly, no matter how broken upstream versioning might be;
  Debian version numbers would be used, not upstream version numbers. No
  need to worry about x.y.z-prex version numbers. No need to worry about
  major changes in upstream's versioning system either (just as long as
  all versions are unique, for identifying the *.orig.tar.gz file).

- Easy to upload a "new" package that actually downgrades to an earlier
  upstream version, in fact the same orig.tar.gz could be used. No
  mangling of version numbers is required. Just upload a new version
  that has a higher Debian package version.

- Easy to automatically determine upstream version number, under all
  conditions, ie. there is no need to hack it in order to solve one of
  the above problems.

- Reduces or eliminates the need for epochs.

- There might be other advantages, but that is all I can think of
  right now.

The one disadvantage I can think of is that UIs may need to display both
values. It would also make it harder to work out the upstream version
based on the filename, without reference to the Packages/Sources/*.dsc
file (does this matter though?).

Just my thoughts, I don't actually expect this to be implemented, but it
would solve some problems.
Brian May <bam@debian.org>

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