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Re: dpkg v2 ? I haven't heard about it, but ...

I've been expecting a post from Ian about this for quite a while now..
so here we go :)

Previously Ian Jackson wrote:
> After reading a message on -devel-announce, it's obvious that I have
> to take more seriously a rumour that I heard: namely, that a bunch of
> C++ weenies[1] wanted to rewrite dpkg.

I really dislike what you imply here. Saying that the people involved
are C++ weenies reflect more on you then on the people involved in my
opinion. True, some people involved might use C++ occasionally (at least
I do), but we are not convinced that it is always the best solution. We
have also decided to write this on normal C, not in C++.

> There are a number of things I'd like to say, in no particular order.
> * I don't think that most of dpkg needs to be rewritten.

Maybe not. Personnaly I've spent some time looking at the dpkg code and
making some modifications, and I think it could use some changes. That's
just my personal opinion though.

> * I am actively working on dpkg.

You have said this for a long time now. However the weekly CVS changes
that you post to debian-dpkg show that you haven't made a single change
to your CVS archive in months now...

> * Many of the problems that are in current dpkg versions (particularly
> the build system) are the result of NMUs.

I'm not sure that is true. For some problems, yes. In fact I have seem
at least one or two bugs that resulted from the switch to automake.
However all the major bugs are not the result of NMU's. I know I
personnaly fixed at least one important bug that wasn't a result of
NMU, and for another there has been a patch in the BTS for quite a while

> * I shall be releasing a new maintainer-upload of dpkg into unstable
> Real Soon Now (tm).

You said that a couple of months ago as well.

> * I am distinctly doubtful that the core functions of dpkg are likely
> to be rewritten competently in the near future.

I really dislike this remark. We already said that we don't want to
replace dpkg in the near future anyway. We just feel that a rewrite
can give a lot of enhancements we would like to see. However we never
said that we want to replace dpkg. If the developers would decide at
some point to switch we would be very happy of course, but that is not
our main goal.

> * A number of competent people seem to have little difficulty working
> on dpkg.

How many people have made modifications to dpkg itself? Very little, and
some of those are also involved in this project..

> * I agree that there are changes needed.  Of the most urgent changes
> are:
>  - Reengineering of dependency checking so that it happens in one
>    place.

I'm not sure what you exactly mean by this.

>  - Programmatic API for UI developers.

Right now libapt presents a very nice API for UI developers already..
You would have to do some major work to produce another interface with
the same features I think.


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E-Mail: wichert@cs.leidenuniv.nl
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