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strange preinst tests about --assert-working-epoch


I've noticed that some packages from the one I have installed contain this
test in their preinst:

set -e

dpkg --assert-working-epoch 2>&- || {
    echo -e "\nYou must upgrade dpkg before installing this package.\n"
It seems bad to me: It's a kind of dependency there, no ? But on the other
hand, they just depend a recent dpkg to be installed, not to be used...

FYI, I have 168 packages using epoch on my box, and only 7 of them have this
test in there preinst.

Lintian does not repport anything about the packages having this test,
neither does it for the ones not having it.

An exemple of package with epoch and without this test is "gv". The preinst
mentioned above is "zlib-bin.preinst". The changelog of zlib-bin says:

zlib (1:1.0.4-7) stable unstable; urgency=low

  * Include --assert-working-epoch so people can't try to install with
    bogus dpkg. (Bug#6848)
  * Correct zlib1-dev description. (Bug#6061).
  -- Michael Alan Dorman <mdorman@debian.org>  Sun, 26 Jan 1997 16:49:19 -0500

and he's right, maintaining compatibility with old boxes is important.

I will (try to) write the right lintian test, dh_* magic and fill some small
bugs, once someone explained to me what the right way to handle epoch is ;)

Bye, Mt.

Si les grands esprits se rencontrent, les petits esprits, eux, se cognent.

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