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Re: Bug#771496: overwrites user changes to configuration file /etc/dpkg-cross/cross-compile on upgrade (violates 10.7.3)

On Tue, 9 Dec 2014 15:50:40 +0100
Helmut Grohne <helmut@subdivi.de> wrote:

> Control: severity -1 serious
> On Mon, Dec 08, 2014 at 06:39:07PM +0000, Neil Williams wrote:
> > On Sun, 7 Dec 2014 15:22:08 +0100
> > gregor herrmann <gregoa@debian.org> wrote:
> > > Yes but it does it wrong.
> > 
> > There are no user-supported values in that file, it only stores
> > debconf information.
> You are saying that dpkg-cross does not support the Debian policy?

Yes, dpkg-cross was never policy compliant from the original design up.
Everything it does is against the spirit of policy if not the letter.
It's a series of gross unsupportable embedded hacks and I long ago gave
up any idea of fixing it. It's like the Hydra and until someone finally
lets it die it will continue spawning new monstrous heads in protest at
not being allowed to die in peace.

> Clearly, /etc/dpkg-cross/cross_compile is a configuration file and
> clearly local changes are not currently preserved. This makes the
> package unfit for release.

Fine, then let it get auto-removed. It's essentially been unmaintained
for over a year, it causes chaos across the installation and makes more
hacks like xapt necessary. This behaviour isn't new for Jessie.

> > Any change on dpkg-cross behaviour caused by that file is
> > a separate bug.
> I agree with this. /etc/dpkg-cross/cross_compile should not exist. But
> as long as it does exist, it must follow the rules of the Debian
> policy.

Little else of the package bothers with policy.... why this tiny
> I believe that the best solution to this problem is to remove
> /etc/dpkg-cross/cross-compile (and .sample) from the package.

Or just let the package skip Jessie.
> > dpkg-cross is essentially unmaintained and I'd rather it was
> > orphaned - it has been dead for some time and the only real purpose
> > for having the package after Jessie will be
> > the /etc/dpkg-cross/cross-config.* files, not cross-compile. Any
> > package relying on /etc/dpkg-cross/cross-compile for anything
> > except the default arch already set in debconf is buggy.
> You are missing an important aspect here: dpkg-cross is currently the
> only way to build a cross compiler from src:gcc-4.9. It seems a bit
> premature to me to declare that functionality obsolete before moving
> gcc to a different method. You may want to (re)discuss this with the
> gcc maintainer: He does not seem to be aware of this deprecation and
> declares dpkg-cross supported.

dpkg-cross was deprecated in Lenny. It has not been supported since
shortly after the Wheezy release.

The only data from dpkg-cross which is worth having in Jessie is
the /etc/dpkg-cross/cross-config.* files. If Policy violations in
the rest of the package which have been ignored for multiple releases
already mean that dpkg-cross gets removed from testing, it will only be
these data files which are missed.

If there's much more discussion on this non-issue then I'll file the RM
bug against unstable (including xapt and emdebian-crush). I'll let
someone else worry about whether it is worth fixing one tiny hack in the
stinking pile of gross hacks across the rest of the package. This really
is unnecessary - there is no real bug here. It's a nonsense - whacking
packages with the Policy sledgehammer just because we can.

Fine, if this is so important that it requires the package to be
removed, I've already spent more time on this than I can spare for
dpkg-cross maintenance this cycle. Let it die in peace. We've been
whipping this particular dead horse for two release cycles already.

RIP dpkg-cross, you will not be missed.


Neil Williams

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