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Re: New project goal: Get rid of Berkeley DB (post jessie)

On Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 07:10:46AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> We would need to continue to support it in Debian for reading existing
> Berkeley DB key/value pair databases via such things as Perl's DB_File.
> I know I'm not the only one who has tons of key/value pair Berkeley DB
> files scattered around from inumerable pieces of local code or packages
> like krb5-strength.
> That said, I don't think the Berkeley DB key/value pair on-disk data
> structure could be all that complex, the algorithms around such a thing
> are very well-understood, and I don't think the implementation has changed
> in years and is therefore unambiguously under a good license.  Maybe
> someone could fork just this portion of Berkeley DB without all the
> complex transaction stuff and take over upstream maintenance of just that?

Right.  I think for many of the affected packages, given some upstream
cooperation, it would be quite easy to convert them over to maybe
something as simple as gdbm; I did that many years ago for man-db after
getting fed up with on-disk format changes and other complexity-induced
bugs, and have not been at all sad that I did so (this was well before
the licence change, which I have not thought very deeply about).

But I'm not sure that it would be helpful to be aggressive about
removing Berkeley DB entirely; in the medium term I think the best we
could hope for would be to reduce the extent to which it is entrenched.

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

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