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Re: Install-info transition, review time

On Thu, 26 Mar 2009 00:00:51 -0700
Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 12:05:43PM +0100, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> > the dpkg team and the texinfo maintainer have laid out a plan to
> > get rid of dpkg /usr/sbin/install-info and start relying on
> > GNU's install-info when needed. This will involve some work to
> > transition properly. We have described our plan here:
> > http://wiki.debian.org/Transitions/DpkgToGnuInstallInfo

Proposal to replace Debian's install-info with GNU's install-info
(via triggers)

(which is where this all started)

and http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=518737 which is
why it restarted now.

> It would be nice if the details were posted to the mailing list instead of
> referencing a wiki.
>  * dpkg ships a new /usr/sbin/install-info that will call
>    /usr/bin/install-info with the same arguments. It also warns the user if
>    called with an absolute path. Dpkg also contains Breaks against old
>    versions of all info-browsers that do not depend on install-info.

* install-info operations will all then happen in triggers, not
directly via maintainer scripts.

"The plan is always to get rid of install-info inside dpkg, so asking us
for this change is not the right long-term solution. (And contrary to
update-alternatives, I don't think such a change make sense)

I would really suggest that you design a solution that doesn't require
the postinst snippet at all. A simple solution could be:
- have a package "install-info" register a file trigger
on /usr/share/install-info/
- have other packages provide a .install-info file in that directory
that tells how install-info should be called
- add a dh_installinfo helper to automatize the installation of this
- have info readers depend on the new install-info package

Opinions ?


Raphaël Hertzog"

> Also, is the new dpkg going to Pre-Depend: on this new install-info package?
> If not, what does this /usr/sbin/install-info wrapper script do when called
> and /usr/bin/install-info is absent?  Packages currently call install-info
> from their maintainer scripts unconditionally, because it's provided by an
> Essential package.

Triggers will replace such maintainer script calls, making info
documents no different to manpages in terms of their installation,
hence no need for any support from Essential and triggers will simply
not be called if install-info is not installed.

IIRC the remaining install-info script is to provide support until all
the packages using maintainer scripts calls migrate to using triggers
for their info documents.

There were also extensive discussions on the texinfo list but Norbert
is currently on (partially hardware enforced) VAC.


> > Please review and raise any suggestions if you have any. There
> > has been some extensive discussion on -dpkg already that you can read
> > to understand the choices made:
> > http://lists.debian.org/debian-dpkg/2009/03/msg00019.html
> Given that install-info is codified in Policy, I think this plan needs to be
> vetted via the policy process and include specific changes to the language
> in Policy, prior to moving forward on implementation.

There probably should have been more on the wiki page about the earlier
discussions. I'll try and update it over the weekend, unless someone
else is able to do it earlier.


Neil Williams

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