I've grepped the d-d list, but didn't find any threads regarding
fixing epochs in package versions.
First, is there a consensus or quorum that believes that unnecessary
epochs is undesirable?
If so, could we add a field to debian/control such as
"Supersede-Epoch". If set to 'yes', then dpkg considers this package
to have an epoch of infinity for version comparisons. After the next
stable is released with this version of the package, then the
maintainer could remove the control line "Supersede-Epoch" so that
epochs and dpkg behave as before.