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Re: Multiarch file overlap summary and proposal

Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> writes:

> I think it would be better to have a world in which all the architectures
> of the foo package on the system have to have the same version, because
> then you don't have to treat foo:i386 and foo:amd64 like they're separate
> packages.  The list of installed architectures is an *attribute* of the
> package.  A package is still either installed or not installed, but when
> it's installed, it can be installed for one or more architectures.  But if
> it's installed for multiple architectures, those architectures are always
> upgraded together and always remain consistent.  That avoids all weirdness
> of having a package work differently because the version varies depending
> on the ABI, and it significantly simplifies the mental model behind the
> package.

In such a world architecture all could also be considered another
architecture. And then foo:i386, foo:amd64 and foo:all could be
coinstallable. That would mean that files shared between architectures
could be moved into foo:all and foo:any could implicitly depend on
foo:all. The benefit of this over foo-common would be that apt-cache
search, apt-cache policy, aptitude, dpkg --remove, ... would only have
one package (foo) instead of 2 (foo + foo-common).

This has been previously suggested too but has been droped because it
would be incompatible with existing systems (i.e. monoarch dpkg couldn't
install packages from such a world).


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