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Re: Bug#481129: Bug#671503: general: APT repository format is not documented

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM, Julian Andres Klode <jak@debian.org> wrote:
> = Flat Repository Format =
> A flat repository does not use the {{{dists}}} hierarchy of directories,
> and instead places meta index and indices directly into the archive root
> (or some part below it) In sources.list syntax, a flat repository is specified
> like this:
> {{{
>   deb uri directory/
> }}}

I don't think defining sources.list syntax in a client-agnostic document
is a good move. APT has the 'sources.list' manpage for it and other clients
might or might not have different ways to specify repositories.
(beside, that it would be deb-src, too)

> !InRelease, Release, Release.gpg meta-information are supported as well. Diffs,
> Translations, and Contents indices are not defined for that repository format.
> Indices may be compressed just like in the standard Debian repository format.

Translations are supported, although with a different name: directory/en
(and co) instead of Translation-en. For Contents i am not sure, but i think
apt-file downloads these, too. (not sure if this should be a reason to include
it in a specification through or just keep it as some legacy cruft around)

Diffs are supported by apt, but it will not be used if not in Release.
(if no Release file is present, diffs will not be tried).
It's the same for the non-flat repository and true for other files as well
- and should be a reasonable thing to allow clients to do.

In that train of thought, I think it would be a good idea to require a
repository to have a Release (or InRelease) file including all files
[in their current state] composing this repository.
They are easy to create and this way a client could stop guessing if
they like to, avoiding possibly a lot of 404's.
Best combined with a strong recommendation on signing them.

Best regards

David Kalnischkies

P.S.: Could we please stop talking to three bugs and two mailinglists?
Especially as [0] suggests it is the wrong list…
[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2012/05/msg00222.html

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