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Re: Multiarch file overlap summary and proposal

Carsten Hey <carsten@debian.org> writes:
> * Russ Allbery [2012-02-16 10:43 -0800]:

>> * Users who want to co-install separate architectures will immediately
>>   encounter a dpkg error saying that the files aren't consistent.  This
>>   means they won't be able to co-install the packages, but dpkg will
>>   prevent any actual harm from happening.  The user will then report a bug
>>   and the maintainer will realize what happened and be able to find some
>>   way to fix it.

>> * Even better, we can automatically detect this error case by scanning the
>>   archive for architecture pairs that have non-matching overlapping files
>>   and deal with it proactively.

> There are still files that differ that do not need to be fixed, for
> example documentation that contains it's build date.

Every file that differs has to be fixed in the current multi-arch plan.
Documentation that contains its build date is going to need to be split
out into a separate -docs package.

I'm fine with splitting documentation; that has far fewer problems than
splitting other types of files, since documentation isn't tightly coupled
at a level that breaks software.

> One way to address this is to use a new dpkg control file (placed in
> /var/lib/dpkg/info) that lists files that dpkg considers to be equal
> even if they differ.

I don't think this is a good idea.  I don't think we should allow this
sort of inconsistency depending on what package is installed first.

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

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