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dummy packages and "Replaces:" field


As you all know, dummy packages are an ugly hack.  They require
maintainers to do an unnecesary upload and mean that we need to keep
an unuseful package in the archive just to be able to replace the old

Even if dummy packages fulfill their mission, I believe better
solutions are in order.

The one I can think of is honouring the "Replaces:" field, meaning
that when a package states that it replaces another one, apt,
aptitude, dselect, and all the others would  install it to replace of
the old one.

This would mean an important change in all these tools, and I guess
that due to the fact that "Replaces:" was not being honoured up to now
some packages might be abusing it, and that would need to be fixed,

Is there a better solution to this? If there isn't, I think that we
should try to fix this for etch. Even if it means a lot or work, it
would be better than stickying to the dummy packages ugly hack.


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