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Re: Summary: dpkg and alpha/beta versioning

Yann Dirson <ydirson@mygale.org> writes:

> * use epochs.

> Con: when an epoch is used once, it cannot be reverted.  Although it
> seems harmless as the epoch will probably never suffer from storage
> overflow, some people seem not to like this solution very much.

As you point out later, people seem to have an aesthetic objection to
this.  I still don't know why the objection is as strong as it seems
to be.  The epoch number is really unobtrusive...

> Con: against the current Packaging Manual's guidelines (section 5):
> "Note that the purpose of epochs is to allow us to leave behind
> mistakes in version numbering, and to cope with situations where the
> version numbering changes. It is not there to cope with version
> numbers containing strings of letters which dpkg cannot interpret
> (such as ALPHA or pre-), or with silly orderings (the author of this
> manual has heard of a package whose versions went 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1,
> 2.1, 2.2, 2 and so forth)."

Hmm.  One way to fix this con would be to just change the packaging
manual.  Manual admonishments aside, epochs do solve the problem, and
we *don't* have any control over the upstream version numbers, so we
need some standard solution.

Of course your final scheme *is* a bit more flexible, but as you point
out, it may be overkill, and it does require modifications to dpkg.

Rob Browning <rlb@cs.utexas.edu>
PGP fingerprint = E8 0E 0D 04 F5 21 A0 94  53 2B 97 F5 D6 4E 39 30

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