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Re: Summary: dpkg shared / reference counted files and version match

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 06:56:00PM -0600, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
> Could you elaborate on this?

> As long as dependencies are accurate, I don't see how allowing
> co-installation of the same package for two different architectures at
> different versions is any more complicated than pinned to the same
> version.

I think we're likely to see a lot of bugs introduced in the process of
making the dependencies accurate if we go this route.  So instead of
refcounting the files, we move them to a new arch: all package.  Ok; now,
suppose some of these files aren't actually architecture-independent:
they're data but they're generated differently on different architectures,
and the library expects the data in its native architecture-dependent
format.  (See the parallel thread about "endianness of data files" for
examples.)  Doesn't this proposal eliminate one of our best defenses against
this packaging error?  Having them kicked back as mismatched files, either
by dpkg or by the archive, seems better to me than letting them land on the
user's system and break at runtime.

> [...]
> >> Proposed solution
> [...]
> > This will require changes to the Policy, to which I (and hopefully
> > other developers) will object.

> Last time I checked, multiarch is not in policy yet.

multiarch library paths are in policy (as an exception to the FHS).

> > Please don't throw into the mud work of individual developers
> > (including me) who already converted their packages to multi-arch.

> I agree that the extra work of removing "multi-arch: same" for
> existing -dev packages that have been converted is a major downside.
> And on the other hand, the need throughout Debian infrastructure to
> support the very fragile refcount approach would be a downside to that
> approach.

Which infrastructure do you have in mind?  I don't see anything that's
needed besides a dpkg implementation (which we have) and some tools to
sanity-check coinstallability (which 1. we would need anyway, and 2. we also
have a preliminary implementation of).

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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