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Re: Packaging _still_ wasteful for many large packages

On Wed, Feb 18, 2004 at 04:59:59PM -0500, Joey Hess wrote:

> Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> > The problem is that every byte not shared is multiplied by 11 (soon
> > 12), extra Packages on the other hand only add a few bytes to the
> > Packages file. 
> More like a kilobyte per package, per Packages file. Yes, I have done
> the math, and it's not clear to me if a few kilobytes downloaded daily
> by many of our users, some on thin pipes, has a lesser cost than a few
> megabytes sitting in a few mirrors. Especially since bandwidth is
> generally more expensive than disk. That's why I asked where the dividing
> line is.

The archive uses bandwidth, too; that of mirror operators via the mirror
pulse and downloads of debs by users.

The difference, of course, is that a huge number of users download the
Packages files, while only a (potentially very small) portion of them
download the large packages (though both mozilla and emacs were included in
the original list).

> If we do not do something, Debian may be completly unusable for dialup
> users within a few years. I can already only manage to update my
> unstable systems once a week. Is this important? More or less important
> than the number of mirrors we can field?

This is a general Internet phenomenon, not limited to Debian.  A large
fraction of popular websites are practically unusable over dialup links.
Fortunately, available bandwidth to end users seems to be increasing
exponentially, while the Debian archive seems more geometric.

 - mdz

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