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Re: Bug#752589: scowl: Please mark packages as Multi-Arch: foreign

On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 06:09:38PM -0700, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Jun 2014, Frédéric Brière wrote: 
> > Marking all packages providing wordlist as "Multi-Arch: foreign" would
> > allow them to satisfy dependencies from packages of foreign
> > architectures.
> 2) This particular issue in scowl itself would be trivially fixed by
> #666772, which has a patch, and has been open for two years with that
> patch...
> While I don't see a problem with adding this particular fix to scowl (it
> really is Multi-Arch: foreign), we should just fix this archive-wide
> once and for all.

Note that this apt bug refers to cross-building only, not the general
case of (any) dependency on an arch:all package as - as the bug says
itself - the general case is potentially dangerous while cross-building
is a "new" feature so we could 'break' it left and right.

Additional, this is a first-level only change, in other words: Only the
arch:all packages the package you want to cross-build are effected by
this magic M-A:foreign addition. Anything brought in as a dependency of
a dependency is still not magically foreign.

There were a bunch of other magic ideas like arch:all packages without
any dependencies and so forth, but it usually boils down to a rather
simple counter:  multi-arch is a relatively complicated beast, do we
want to make it even more complex to understand?

There are certainly cases in which "magic" would have made sense anyhow,
but I am not sure it is a good idea to change it now after 1½ releases
supporting it differently – and more importantly for me personally:
APT isn't going to support any of this before dpkg does.
Once bitten, twice shy…

Best regards

David Kalnischkies

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