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Re: The future (or non-future) of ia32-libs

Steve Langasek <vorlon@debian.org> writes:

> On Sun, Jun 24, 2012 at 03:57:29PM +0800, Thomas Goirand wrote:
>> > Release notes are meant to be read once, not every time you upgrade a
>> > system. Having a debconf note once might be appropriate. The second
>> > time, you'll go "right, I've seen that before". The third time you go
>> > "sigh, yes, I know, fuck off". The fourth time, you hit ctrl-C, and run
>> > "DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get upgrade" -- and then miss
>> > something that was actually important and didn't occur on previous
>> > installs.
>> > Please, let's keep upgrade information in the release notes. If some
>> > people don't read them, that's something we should try to fix; not by
>> > trying to work around the release notes, but by making them more
>> > accessible, easier to find, and more obvious instead.
>> Well, if you update apt + dpkg first, then --add-architecture i386, and
>> *then only* dist-upgrade (or if we manage to update apt / dpkg in
>> stable, so that it does that automatically), it wouldn't display the
>> debconf. So if you were doing lots of upgrades, it would display the
>> debconf screen only if you do the mistake to forget about the
>> --add-architecture i386. So I don't think that my proposal is an abuse
>> of debconf as you describe.
> It's an abuse of debconf because if you know the system is broken, we should
> do better than just to tell the user that the system is broken.  We should
> either give them the option to automatically fix it on upgrade, or - better
> by far - we should automatically fix it for them on upgrade.
> Why would anyone who has the ia32-libs package installed want anything *but*
> to have 'dpkg --add-architecture i386' on upgrade?
> That said, I'm not sure I wouldn't also consider it an abuse of base-files
> to make that package do this on upgrade.  If you're going to task some
> package with transitioning to multiarch, it probably makes more sense to do
> it in dpkg itself.

As long as we don't have a "<arch X> packages for <arch Y>" partial
architecture I don't think anything should silently add a foreign arch
automatically. Also adding the architecture requires an apt-get/aptitude
update and restarting the upgrade/dist-ugrade so that can't be done from
maintainer scripts cleanly.

I think the place where it makes sense to add a foreign architecture is
in Debian-Installer. I think people who upgrade will have to read the
release notes.


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