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Re: Multi-arch and dependencies on arch: all packages

On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 08:48:45PM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> > On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 05:12:03PM +0100, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> >> It actually makes less sense.

> >> You have identified the 2 cases of arch:all apckages:

> >> 1) truely architecture independent and satisfies dependencies for any
> >> arch
> >> 2) meta packages that are placeholder for an arch:any package

> >> So why then forbid the use of the Multi-Arch field to let maintainers
> >> choose between the 2 types?

> > What?  We didn't do that at all.  This thread is about making it clear that
> > the Multi-Arch field *can* be set on Architecture: all packages!  Case 1 is
> > Multi-Arch: foreign; case 2 is Multi-Arch: none.

> Yet Multi-Arch: same is forbidden in the specs. Which you would need for
> a meta package that depends on a library.

Please cite an example where this is not an absolutely preposterous thing to

Library dependencies are satisfied via the dpkg-shlibdeps mechanism, which
generates direct dependencies from the package containing the binary to the
package containing the library it uses.  I've never heard of anyone
depending on an architecture: all package as a proxy for *libraries*, and
can't think of any reason that would be sane to do.

> By smashing arch:all packages to :native you greatly reduce the
> installability of packages. Lets take a simple game (freeciv) as example
> and pretend this were a non-free package available for i386 only:

> Package: freeciv-client-gtk
> Architecture: i386
> Depends: libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.29.3), ..., freeciv-data (>= 2.2.0), ggzcore-bin

> Package: freeciv-data
> Architecture: all
> Version: 2.2.4-1

> That means freeciv will be uninstallable on amd64 for no good reason.

Yep - but under the current proposal we could easily fix that by annotating
freeciv-data as Multi-Arch: foreign.

The idea of being able to install foreign-arch packages *at all* is entirely
new in Debian.  I don't think requiring the arch: all package to be marked
Multi-Arch: foreign is all that much of a burden.

> Could we default arch:all leaf packages (no further Depends) to
> Multi-Arch: foreign? That would cover data packages like the above
> example. That should be local enough to check.

Since that doesn't require dpkg to look beyond one level of dependencies
when calculating, I would be ok with that as a middle ground, if the dpkg
and apt maintainers agree.  Though I suspect the cases where this matters
will be few in practice.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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