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Re: Opinions sought: mlocate appropriate for Priority: standard?

Adeodato Simó wrote:
> I'm preparing packages for mlocate, and personally I would like to
> upload it with Priority: standard. But I'm open to be convinced that is
> not a good idea (eg. "standard is already bloated").
> I think having a working /usr/bin/locate is a reasonable expectation for
> a Linux system nowadays, so the priority level would fit. I am aware of
> course that findutils already provides one implementation, and it's
> Priority: required...

... and Essential: yes since it contains find and xargs, making it
impossible to remove on a normal system.  I personally would much
rather see locate split out of findutils and made optional.  This
would avoid the need to disable updatedb on any new system
installation.  While I do not have any numbers to back this up, I
strongly suspect that the majority of people who have updatedb
installed and running daily nevertheless do not use locate.

I don't think that would need a transition, either; while scripts
could theoretically count on the availability of locate, they could
not count on it working or providing up-to-date results, so they
couldn't reasonably make use of it.  A scan of Debian packages would
hopefully find no calls to locate, and any such call would almost
certainly constitute a bug.  Perhaps Lintian and Linda could check for
this, much like the check for debconf-is-not-a-registry.

In any case, I definitely do not think that any other locate
implementation should have priority standard or higher as long as
findutils (Essential: yes) contains locate.  However...

> However, I would very much like to have a *better* implementation
> installed by default, and I think mlocate would be very appropriate for
> the job:
>   * mlocate keeps timestamps in its database, so when running updatedb
>     it can determine if the contents of a directory have changed without
>     having to read its contents; this makes the update faster, and less
>     demanding on the harddist (that's where the name comes from, "merge
>     locate")

That alone makes it far far better than the standard locate, and depending
on how well it works, I can imagine actually using it at least on non-laptop

Thus, I would argue that:

* No locate should have standard priority as long as findutils
  contains locate.
* locate should move out of findutils into a separate package.
* Once that happens, if any locate should have priority standard,
  mlocate should.
* However, I don't think any locate should have priority standard.

- Josh Triplett

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