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Re: Explicit arch qualifiers in “Depends” field


I'm reviving this thread now that I have patches and proof of concept packages making use of this feature.

The idea is to extend the “:any” qualifier to specific arch qualifiers such as “:i386” or “:armhf” in both
the source package field “Build-Depends” and the binary package “Depends”-style fields.

Such a feature would be useful for cross-compilers (as available in the emdebian repos) use
“-$ARCH-cross” packages, which are either modified “Architecture: $ARCH” packages (using “dpkg-cross”)
or cross-built versions of existing “Architecture: $ARCH” packages.

You can find some cross-compilers packages making use of specific arch qualifiers instead of “-$ARCH-cross”
packages in my repo[1] (component “cross-deps”), as well as patched versions of dpkg and apt to implement those new qualifiers.

Having this feature in wheezy would be nice, as it would enable, say, emdebian, to provide such cross-compiler packages,
and it shouldn't change anything to how existing packages are handled.

Thus, I'm requesting for reviews on the following patches:
* http://emdebian.org/~thibg/patches/dpkg/0001-Implement-native-and-any-qualifiers-in-build-deps.patch
  Also attached in bug #558095, it doesn't implement this feature itself, but implements MultiarchCross[2],
  which describes the use of arch qualifiers in the “Build-Depends” field.
  This patch includes a small change to libdpkg-perl's API (note that this change doesn't affect the handling of any existing package).
  I think I've identified all packages making use of it and wrote patches for them:
  * http://emdebian.org/~thibg/patches/emdebian-crush/
  * http://emdebian.org/~thibg/patches/sbuild/0001-Use-deps_parse-build_dep.patch

* http://emdebian.org/~thibg/patches/dpkg/0002-Add-support-for-specific-arch-qualifiers-and-cross-a.patch
  Which applies on top of the previous patch and adds support for specific arch qualifiers in dpkg.

Thibaut Girka.

[1]: http://emdebian.org/~thibg/repo/
[2]: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MultiarchCross

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