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Bug#149760: dpkg: should use something faster than text files

Package: dpkg
Version: 1.9.21
Severity: wishlist

dpkg is much slower than rpm, especially on machines with less
than 256MB of RAM, due to its using thousands of text files
instead of preparsed, preindexed, files that could be directly mmap()ed,
or otherwise directly used with an efficient database API.

I understand the need for text configuration files at the source level,
and for them as a canonical interchange format.
But shouldn't the .deb package packing, unpacking and indexing software
preprocess those files into something much more efficient?

Simple things like dpkg -S, or just the initial parsing of files
before any dpkg -i, take quite a lot of time, while heavily loading
the machine, in a way coupled with the need for someone to supervise
installation, due to questions being asked, so it can't be done
while the operator is away or asleep
(maybe I should try different settings on question priority).

Just my .2 mg of gold worth.

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