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Re: Please test gzip -9n - related to dpkg with multiarch support

* Guillem Jover <guillem@debian.org>, 2012-02-08, 21:02:
Let's assume compressor (gzip/bzip2/xz/etc) version M gets uploaded to sid generating a reproducible output across all current architectures. Time passes, compressor version N (and even O and P and Q etc) gets uploaded, which starts producing new ouput (on each of those versions). A new architecture gets added to Debian, and because previous compressor versions are not in the archive anymore, all packages built with them have different checksums than the new ones. This means *all* those packages have to be binNMUed across *all* the architectures, or the porters need to hunt down every specific compressor version used to build those packages to be able to reproduce the build on their arch.

In practice, the only compressor we need to care is gzip, which is not actively maintained upstream[0]. Chances that a new version of it will break large number of packages are minute.

But anyway, I believe that in the long run we should simply deprecate compressing stuff in /usr/share/doc/.

[0] From <http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-gzip/2010-02/msg00044.html>: "[...] gzip is in maintenance-only mode. [...] I am working on gzip solely to fix bugs and maintain a certain level of portability and robustness."
Jakub Wilk

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