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Overcoming file conflicts in debian packages



I am not sure if this is the right place to discuss this issue.

A common bug in Debian packages is filename conflict.

For example; I made a fresh install of sarge. Installing KDE causes a conflict between two packages kdelibs-bin and konqueror. kdelibs-bin contains a symlink from /usr/bin/kfmexec to kioexec. Konqueror has a file called /usr/bin/kfmexec Consequently, konqueror will not install. Both packages own the same file.

This is not isolated. Such bugs are common. This is the most common class of bug I have experienced from the debian package manager system.

Solution:
Run a process which extracts a list of files for all packages in a release. File conflict notifications can automatically be emailed to both conflicting package maintainers. The same process can create a file for use by a tool for package maintainers to check whilst creating a package whether there are any conflicts.

The file conflict notification can certainly be automated at the package distribution server level. Possibly also implemented automatically in debian package build tools, using the file list created on the package distrubution server.

The lists will need to be unique for each architecture/release.
eg
i386/woody
i386/sarge
i386/sid
s390/woody
...
...

Does such a tool exist? Who will commit to implementing such a tool on the package servers?

Are there instances where file name conflicts within a release are acceptable or necessary?



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