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Re: Upcoming Debian multiarch support (amd64, sparc64, s390x, mips64) [affects sarge slightly]

On Mon, Jan 12, 2004 at 07:36:01AM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> writes:
> > On Sun, Jan 11, 2004 at 08:00:36AM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> > > after fiddling around with the multiarch support for amd64 for some
> > > time now it looks like our developement plans and ideas for amd64 (and
> > > hopefully the rest too) have stabelized. Since this involves several
> > > changes to key components I would like to give everyone the heads up
> > > about what we try to do and how we plan to do it. One minor change to
> > > the /var/lib/dpkg/status file I would like to get implemented and
> > > included in sarge. 
> > 
> > Regardless of the merits (or demerits) of this proposal, I object to
> > trying to implement any changes to /var/lib/dpkg/status before the sarge
> > release.  We are supposed to be in the last stages of the release cycle,
> > and this is not the time to be trying to sneak changes to such a
> > fundamental piece of our package system into the release.

> The change is ~10 line to dpkg with no changes to other software or
> breaking compatibility.

Sorry, but that's always the assessment of a change's proponent, and is
therefore not persuasive.  The kind of thorough testing that's called
for when making a change to such a basic part of the system would almost
certainly push back the release date.

> Are we realy in the last stages of the release cycle?

In spite of general attempts to continue pushing new and untested code
into unstable, yes.  Steady progress has been made on getting red-letter
packages from unstable into testing, which among other things means that
there are few excuses left for those packages that *haven't* gotten
their RC bugs fixed in sarge.  Getting rid of the last 350 RC bugs will
be easy, when they're all package removals.

> If the change is not added to sarge sarge+1 will have to deal with the
> problem. Its not too much of a problem, since an upgrade from sarge
> i386 to sarge+1 amd64 in a single step won't be possible anyway but it
> would remove one big obstacle. The problem is that the status file
> can't be changed in a preinst or postinst script since dpkg would
> overwrite any changes when the script is done.

I have no objections to the idea of adding proper multiarch support to
Debian, but your proposal comes way too late for these changes to be
reasonably considered for sarge.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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