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Re: Silly Packaging Problem

Bruce Sass writes ("Re: Silly Packaging Problem"):
> "files" and "size" accommodate the desire to include generated or 
> packageless files and their size (if knowable) in the dpkg DB.

This is a bad idea.  dpkg maintains these lists of files not primarily
for the purpose of dpkg -S, but rather for making the package
management operations (install, upgrade, remove, etc.) work properly.

If you start editing these files (even with the relevant lock held and
with regard to the package status), dpkg will behave differently
afterwards: it will think the file in question was shipped in the
currently installed package's .deb.

This is almost certainly not what you want.  A good general principle
is to practice ownership: dpkg should remove and update things it has
installed; maintainer scripts and other programs should remove and
update things they created.

If the objective is to make dpkg -S more useful (a worthy goal) then
you need a separate list for each package, of files which should be
reported in -S but which dpkg should otherwise ignore.


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