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Re: Multiarch file overlap summary and proposal

Joey Hess <joeyh@debian.org> writes:

> Anyway, my worry about the refcounting approach (or perhaps M-A: same in
> general) is not the details of the implementation in dpkg, but the added
> mental complexity of dpkg now being able to have multiple distinct
> packages installed under the same name. I had a brief exposure to rpm,
> which can install multiple versions of the same package, and that was
> the main cause of much confusing behavior in rpm. While dpkg's invariant
> that all co-installable package names be unique (and have unique files)
> has certianly led to lots of ugly package names, it's kept the users'
> and developers' mental models quite simple.

> I worry that we have barely begun to scratch the surface of the added
> complexity of losing this invariant.

This does seem to be more M-A: same in general, to me, since whether we
have file overlaps or not we still have multiple packages with the same
name.  Which will force changes in everything that deals with packages,
like Puppet, to be able to specify packages with particular architectures.

I definitely agree on the complexity this adds.  But I don't think there's
an alternative to that complexity without using something like --sysroot
or mini-chroots, and I don't think those are satisfying solutions to the
set of problems we're trying to solve.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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