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Re: Suggested improvements for handling Architecture independent packages


On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 03:20:28PM +0100, Julian Andres Klode wrote:
> I would like to suggest two major improvements related to packages
> which are "Architecture: all".
> The first thing I want to suggest is the handling of dependencies.
> When building a package, you can use "Depends: package [arch1 arch2]"
> which means that it depends on package only on the architectures arch1
> and arch2. But this only works for architecture dependent packages.
> Therefore, I would like to not process this "command" during the
> build-time, but do it at the installation time.
> This is especially useful for recommends, since all recommends have to
> be available. Without it, the best way is to only suggest the package.

I don't see the "major improvement".  Why would you want to use this?  I
see two reasons:

- There is a real Recommends: relation, but the target package is not
  available on some architectures.  In this case, excluding them from
  the recommends list would hide the bug instead of fixing it.

- In rare cases, I can imagine that some really low-level tool is not
  available, especially on different kernels (kfreebsd or hurd, for
  example).  While this is a legitimate reason, I think it's so rare
  that it certainly doesn't count as "major improvement".

> The other suggestion [2] is to add a field called
> "Install-Architecture" to the control file, listing architectures for
> which this package should be available.  Another idea is to use
> "Architecture: all [i386 amd64 ppc]", which seems to be better [3].

This sounds useful, indeed.  If you have the coding skills, I think
patches would be appreciated. ;-)


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