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Re: Plans for Lenny's install-info


On Tue, 2007-04-17 at 17:30:22 +0200, Nicolas François wrote:
> As promised, I'm bringing back this issue after the release of Etch.

Thanks for taking the lead on this one!

> Goals
> =====
>  * Replace dpkg's install-info by the GNU's install-info
>  * Ease the recovery of a corrupted info dir file by allowing a generation
>    from scratch

It might make sense as well to move the info.dir file from base-files
to whatever new package install-info ends up to (CCed Santiago, as I
trimmed stuff while quoting, the initial mail can be found at

> Transition proposal
> ===================

>  + Changes in dpkg

>    - replace dpkg's install-info by a script which just issues a warning,
>      or exit silently.
>      This script could be removed for Lenny+1 or 2.
>      install-info should no more be essential, it is only needed when the
>      info viewer is installed to search the info pages.

We can drop cleanup-info as well (just emitting warnings for now) as
we'll have update-info-dir.

>  + Changes in texinfo

>    - This install-info should support the current dpkg's install-info
>      options (i.e. no failures, but not necessarily registering the info
>      file)
>      IMO, this install-info should be compatible with the GNU's install
>      info, and when it detects that it is used by a old Debian package, it
>      should do nothing (or just warn and recommend using update-info-dir,
>      see below).
>       * this should provide a compatibility with packages not installed
>         from a Debian package (make && make install)
>       * and should not block the installation of old packages
>       * full compatibility with current dpkg's install-info would be nice,
>         but is not required

I'm not sure if crippling install-info is a good idea, upstream
projects should be able to use it. Also non-transitioned packages
should be able to install their info files and make those be added
to the dir file. The dir file is going to be regenerated eventually
anyway, so no much problem with broken dir files anymore (or less than
before ;).

>    - When installed for the first time (or first time >= version xxx),
>      it should call update-info-dir.
>      * There may be an issue with local softwares (not Debian packages)
>        => maybe add a debconf question / NEWS entry?
>      * What options should be used when installing the old info files?

This should be run every time the package containing u-i-d is
installed anew.

>  + Changes in packages installing info files

>    - These packages should just drop their info files in /usr/share/info,
>      and call the update-info-dir script if present (postinst and prerm).
>      They could suggest/recommend the info package.

I think Recommends might be too strong, Suggests could be better. Also
packages with man pages do not Suggest/Recommend man-db, but there
should be many more having man pages than info files, so it seems

>    - Packages using dh_installinfo should just depends on a new debhelper
>      version.

If install-info keeps working there's no actual need for this, and
makes life of backporters easier, packages will get this eventually.

> Timeline
> ========

> The following steps probably need to happen in that order:
>  * upload texinfo with install-info and update-info-dir
>  * upload debhelper.
>  * new policy (I don't think there is a strong need for synchronization of
>    this step)
>  * file bugs with blockers to keep track of the transition
>  * fix all packages (for most of them, it will be just increasing the
>    debhelper version in the build dependencies)
>  * upload empty install-info in dpkg (no need to wait for the end of the 
>    previous step).

This last step could probably be moved after the debhelper upload, so
that fast maintainers might just fix their stuff before needing to
file bugs.


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