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Re: Why not move Apt to a relational database

On Sun, Jun 03, 2007 at 11:31:18AM +0100, Neil Williams wrote:
> On Sun, 03 Jun 2007 10:55:01 +0100
> Justin Emmanuel <justinemmanuel@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I am brand new to this mailing list, I joined it because I had an idea
> > that I would like to have considered. Moving apt to a relational
> > database, for several reasons.
> What about embedded systems that can barely run sqlite?

Is sqlite really *that* heavyweight? Storing information about tens of
thousands of packages in plain text files is surely not the best idea.
Historically grown. Okay. But still worth to think about.

> apt needs to be part of the debian-installer, why lumber the installer
> with postgres or mysql or whatever?

Nobody wants to use pgsql or mysql as a prerequisite to a base
installation. Not the right tool for the job. Perhaps there is other
software that is even more basic than sqlite but more basic.

> That doesn't justify adding 10-20Mb of extra code to a rootfs -
> especially when an Emdebian rootfs may need to be <5Mb in total.

The current sqlite package is ~80 KB uncompressed. It I can imagine that
the database might even be smaller and waste less inodes than what apt
currently does.

> > So what do you think? Is this the correct mailing list to send this idea
> > to?
> Right mailing list but, IMHO, not a particularly good idea. Sorry.

Right mailing list. Very good idea IMHO and right to the point. We just
need a volunteer who knows enough about apt to make it use sqlite
without breaking everything. Or do we have to wait until Ubuntu sends us
a patch? ;)

When I complained about the slow package database (it turned out to be
that that many files on ext3 make reading the package cache take longer
than formatting a floppy disc on a 1541) someone pointed to:


Peer review means that you can feel better because someone else
missed the problem, too.

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