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Re: Overcoming file conflicts in debian packages

On Tue, 2004-04-27 at 12:17 +0100, Nick Hill wrote:

> I am not sure if this is the right place to discuss this issue.
> A common bug in Debian packages is filename conflict.
It's not necessarily a bug ... provided that packages *do* Conflict or
Replace each other, it's a perfectly valid thing.

Obviously, if they are missing either flag in both their latest
versions, there's a bug.

> 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.
Missing Build-Depends and Build-Conflicts are pretty common from a
source point of view.

> Run a process which extracts a list of files for all packages in a 
> release.
This already exists as part of the ftpmaster suite, and gets placed on
the FTP site.

> 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.
Reasonable, I don't think this belongs in dpkg though; the Lintian or
Linda folks might be interested -- or it could be a standalone tool.

> Does such a tool exist? Who will commit to implementing such a tool on 
> the package servers?
This is Debian.  If you want such a tool, you will need to implement it
and make it work :o)

> Are there instances where file name conflicts within a release are 
> acceptable or necessary?
As outlined above, packages should declare that such conflicts exist.
Also remember to take into account symlinks created by the alternative
system, and packages that contain another file, and divert all prior
versions out of the way using dpkg-divert (or even just mv)...

Have you ever, ever felt like this?
Had strange things happen?  Are you going round the twist?

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