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Re: Re: Extended descriptions size (was Re: RFC: Better formatting for long descriptions)

Neil Williams wrote:
On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 19:15:00 -0400
Filipus Klutiero <chealer@gmail.com> wrote:


> > What about a way of having a really long, detailed, nicely formatted
> > description on packages.debian.org but a much shorter, more basic
> > version in the Packages.gz file?
> > > The extended description needs to be available to APT

Only for use by apt-search, the rest of apt doesn't care about it. apt
understands debtags, why duplicate that information? (Frontends can be
adapted or just rely on apt-cache search underneath.)
I don't understand what you mean. Where would apt-cache get the extended description from? Again, debtags is not mature enough yet to shrink descriptions.
>, not only via > packages.d.o. I seem to remember that Mandrake Linux (or some other > RPM-based distribution) used two Packages-like files, a fat one about 5 > times our Packages and a slim one about a fifth of Debian's Packages. I > remember finding the slim index cool, but now that there's > Packages.diff, I think that developing Mandrake-like Packages files and > seeing the results in, perhaps, 2 years, would not benefit much to the > kind of hardware Debian will run on by then.

Debian is not exclusively for power-hungry servers and mega-powerful
workstations, Debian also runs on very small hardware and not
necessarily old stuff either. It is a mistake to think that Debian
should require more and more powerful hardware for the basic system.
Actually, I was only saying that I thought such a reduction of the hardware requirements would not help much.
Yes, there is software in Debian that needs a powerful machine, there
is also a LOT of software in Debian specifically designed for low
resource machines where the benefits of a <1Mb Packages.gz file are
I agree, after reading Paul's comment, that if we get a Translations-en file via DDTP, removing the extended description from Packages would be less work, and thus more interesting.

I tested the gain with
awk '$0 !~ /^(Description| )/'
and the result loses close to half of its compressed size.
-rw-r--r-- 1 chealer chealer  4224356 mar 21 20:12 nodesc.tar.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 chealer chealer 7350583 mar 21 15:56 debian.savoirfairelinux.net_debian_dists_testing_main_binary-i386_Packages.tar.gz

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