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ia32-libs{-tools}, multiarch, squeeze

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Hello world,

(Please remember that we can only speak for ourselves and not the
security/release/any other teams, individuals or other sentient beings.)

During the recent discussion about about ia32-libs{,-gtk,-tools} there were
various requests for removal / comments about ftpmaster requirements for the
whole ia32-libs situation.

Having looked at the situation both in lenny and in sid, we tend to agree that
ia32-libs-tools in its current form is unacceptable.  It was mentioned in the
threads that comments had been received from ftpmaster that the lenny form of
ia32-libs (the one where all the source is duplicated in two huge packages -
ia32-libs and ia32-libs-gtk) was disliked.  This remains the case but it is
still preferable (both to us, and it seems to the majority of the rest of the
project) than the ia32-libs-tools approach.

Given that there are definitely use-cases for some form of ia32-libs, we
suggest that a version of ia32-libs{-gtk} is re-uploaded to Debian, replacing
the current ia32-libs-tools.  This needs agreement with the release and
security teams, as this most probably will have to be supported for squeeze in
some form (even if that includes admitting that we have no security support for
the binary ia32-libs packages).

The recent discussions on doing multiarch properly look promising and, even
better, there seems to be broad consensus that this is the right longer-term
direction.  The question is whether the first round could be ready for squeeze
so that we don't have to ship ia32-libs again.  This obviously depends on
people wanting (and having time) to work on it; hopefully more will be known
after the planned BoF at DebConf.  Just to make it clear, there are no
objections at all from ftpmaster to multiarch and we will make sure that any
archive-side changes which may be necessary will be performed so that we don't
block it (although looking at the current proposal from Steve Langasek et al,
we can't really see anything which should need changing).

This should drop the surprising effects users of the ia32-libs-tools packages
experienced in the last few days and also allow us to continue supporting users
of the 32 bit libraries.

This is, as ever, not a statement of the future, but suggestions and thoughts
on the matter.  It has mainly been written due to the fact that we have been
asked by multiple people to remove ia32-libs-tools but don't want to do so
until a consensus has been reached on what we're going to do to replace it.


- -- 
bye, Joerg
<Md> Sesse: I doubt that many people will switch network
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