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Re: [PROPOSAL] virtual package 'lzh-archiver' -- an LZH archiver package

GOTO Masanori wrote:
> At Sun, 10 Sep 2006 20:28:55 +0800,
> Ying-Chun Liu (PaulLiu) wrote:
>> LZH is an archive format which is generated by the lha utility (1).
>> This format is still popular in Japan, but the lha utility is not a free
>> software. However, some free softwares which use LZH as their
>> data format (2) and some free GUI archive file managers (3)
>> often use fork+exec, popen, or system, to call the
>> command line program '/usr/bin/lha' to extract the data.
>> Therefore I propose a virtual package named 'lha' for those packages who can
>> provide the functionality of '/usr/bin/lha'.
>> Note:
>> (1) "lha" package in Debian non-free section
>> (2) "fkiss", "gnomekiss" in Debian
>> (3) "ark", "file-roller", "krusader" in Debian
> The current non-free lha package is based on the original and
> legitimate MS-DOS version LHa.  "LHa" is one of implementations of LZH
> format archiver.  So many LZH archiver/extractor on windows have used
> other names.  We cannot expect each archiver/extrator has the exact
> same options.  Thus I disagreed to use lha as virtual package name.
> Instead, how about setting "lzh-archiver" as /etc/alternatives for
> your java-based lzh archiver and my non-free lha package, then
> modifying the GUI archive file managers to execute lzh-archiver, not
> lha?

"lzh-archiver" is a good virtual package name. And I should use it in
the first time.

But only use alternatives on "/usr/bin/lzh-archiver" has less meaning to
what I wished. In varying Linux distributions, those GUI programs still
have to call "/usr/bin/lha". They won't know in Debian, they can try
using "/usr/bin/lzh-archiver" first. Thus I don't think the upstreams of
those  programs would like to modify their code to use
"/usr/bin/lzh-archiver". And, more free softwares currently not in
Debian have already widely used "/usr/bin/lha" as their default lzh
archiver executable name. To change them all is nearly impossible.

This case is like the "mpg123" and "mpg321" packages currently in
Debian. Because many softwares have already used "/usr/bin/mpg123" as
their mp3 decoder, "mpg321" is designed to be command-line compatible to
"mpg123" for replacing. Now both packages provides "mpg123",
"mp3-decoder" and use alternatives on both "/usr/bin/mpg123" and

After I check the situation of mpg123 and mpg321, I think only
"lzh-archiver" should be listed in
/usr/share/doc/debian-policy/virtual-package-names-list.txt.gz and "lha"
should be considered as a "privately, amongst a cooperating group of
packages" virtual package.

 Ying-Chun Liu

E-mail address: grandpaul@gmail.com

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