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Bug#145595: dpkg: --force-overwrite is supposed to be on for releases

cc'd to debian-devel, as I believe this needs wider audience.

To summarize for those just joining this thread, the problem at hand is
whether to turn on dpkg's --force-overwrite flag.

This flag tells dpkg to turn file overlaps between packages into warnings,
into errors.  This error happens often during upgrades, as proper Replaces
have not been added to the correct packages.

Previously, right before each release, an upload of dpkg is done, that would
have this flag turned on by default.  With earlier releases of debian, this
had to be done by editting the source of dpkg itself.  Now, dpkg has a config
file, and it is a simple change.

For more info, please read bug 145595.

On Sun, 5 May 2002, Wichert Akkerman wrote:

> We did think about that but decided we would rather have people make
> a conscious choice to toggle that flag. Normal users who track stable or
> testing should have it turned on, and developers and people who track
> unstable hould have it turned off.

Actually, I am against this.  I want overlaps to be reported.  We need to
train users to know what this kind of bug is, how to work around it, and how
to report it.

We shouldn't blindly fix this behind users backs.  This is hiding problems,
imho, which the social contract says we will not do.

> Note how a single file overlap now tends to result in multiple
> bugreports. By only letting developers disable force-overwrite the
> chances of such a multitude of duplicate bugreports is greatly
> reduced.

This would reduce bug reports, and might even cause some overlaps to never be
reported.  Developers can't possibly test all combinations of all packages.

It may be non-trivial to write, but such a tool should exist, to check for
these overlaps.  We know what stable packages have been released.  We can load
the Contents files from these, and compare against existing debs, either
daily, or when a new Contents file is generated(they are not updated daily),
or when we are about to release.

File overlaps are a very easy thing to test, without actually installing any
package, and therefor should be an automated test.

I'll be looking at writing something tomorrow.

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