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Re: Debian part of a version number when epoch is bumped

On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 04:28:41PM -0500, Michael Stone wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 12:54:05PM -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > Since there are two goals, a more correct implementation would be to split
> > these into two versions.  The simplest would be to have an integer
> > "version epoch" field in the package metadata separate from the version
> > number.  So instead of:
> > 
> > Version: 1.8-1
> > 
> > Version: 1:1.6-1
> > 
> > you'd have:
> > 
> > Version: 1.8-1
> > 
> > Version: 1.6-1
> > Epoch: 1
> > 
> > We then could implement the separate semantics: only the version field
> > would be used for interpackage dependencies, so 1.6-1 with epoch 1 would
> > not satisfy >= 1.8 dependencies, but DAK and apt clients would know that
> > any package with epoch 1 supersedes packages with no epoch for archive and
> > default installation purposes.
> > 
> > Of course, getting to that from where we are now may be substantially more
> > trouble than it's worth, and it would necessarily be a very slow rollout
> > process (and there are still issues with unique filenames).
> I don't think you'd need to change the package metadata for this, just
> change the comparison rules. I'm not entirely sure what the semantics should
> be, though--a simple depends >= is easy, but what about conflicts and breaks
> with <<? I agree that it's probably more trouble than it's worth.

I was thinking it might be better to go to a "wildcard" epoch:

Depends: X (>= *:1.8)

would mean

"For this comparison, ignore the epoch, and make sure that the version
is at least 1.8 or above".

Beyond that, the usual semantics of all the operators would apply. No
need for "special" operators or metadata format changes.

I was thinking for a moment that it might be useful to have that
implemented as a "general" thing, but then I cannot think of any
situation where a dependency of the form "any version of this package,
as long as it has a Debian revision of 2 or above" might be useful.
Given that, it might also be good to state that wildcard version
comparisons may not include the debian revision, only the upstream
version number.

Could you people please use IRC like normal people?!?

  -- Amaya Rodrigo Sastre, trying to quiet down the buzz in the DebConf 2008

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