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Re: New XML-based package description file format?

On Mon, 29 May 2000, Joey Hess wrote:

> Vincent Renardias wrote:
> > I find the current 'Packages' file format rather impractical and not
> > complete compared to the index used on www.rpmfind.net for example.
> Hm. I don't.
> What are your specific concerns?

To have one real and exact indexing file instead of 3, one of them
(Contents-$ARCH.gz) being continuously out of date.
(Yes, it takes a hellish long time to compute from scrach, but no more
than 5% of the informations it contains is changed daily and it's really
easy to make an incremental update.)

> The xml file you attached has lots of fields we don't put in Packages
> files, because we don't need them. But if we do need them for some
> reason, the current format is sufficiently flexable to have them added.

Of course, I was giving this file as an example, since it indeed uses RPM
specific fields (like Vendor, etc). But it seems like Wichert and Daniel
Veillard (rpmfind author/maintainer) are working on a common format.

> > If I develop a new XML based format and add it to dpkg-scanpackages, is
> > there a chance to see is used? (concurently with the current format for
> > example).
> Such an xml-based format would have, at a minimum, 2x the overhead for
> tags than the current format has. Since these things get downloaded all
> the time, that is a big issue, IMHO.

To be honnest, the overhead is more like 2.5/3 times, however it mostly
disappears when the file is compressed (since the same tags come over
and over).

> see shy jo, who thinks XML has its place, and this is probably not it. 
>             See http://www.advogato.org/article/47.html

My initial thought was not to make an XML index just because XML is trendy
is summer, but to have an (=1) index file that can store more information
than the current format does (file list for example). And XML seems a good
candidate for encoding this data IMHO. What point makes you think it's
not? (Did I overlook something?).


"Si ca sent bon : mange-le, sinon pisse dessus..."  [Proverbe chien]

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