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Re: Separating packages.

On Wed, Apr 07, 2004 at 01:18:11PM +0300, Fabian Fagerholm wrote:

> I'm inclined to believe that there are some things that could be done
> about this if someone wanted to. Diffs for the package list has been
> proposed, and it doesn't take many minutes of thinking to see that it's
> actually quite possible to do for a stable release (infrequent changes).
> Making the package database efficient for the purposes you describe is
> definitely not impossible either, even with a large list of packages.

Certainly there are things which could be done to help.  I didn't say that
the problems were insoluble, but they do exist, and you haven't even begun
to consider them all (many different pieces of infrastructure are affected).

> From a usability perspective, the technical problems of the package
> management system are uninteresting. Presenting the packages in a
> well-organized, easily searchable way and letting the user choose what to
> install and what not to install is the primary goal. If splitting a
> package supports a group of users, and the split doesn't affect the needs
> of other groups of users, then I think "the package management system
> doesn't scale" is a bad excuse for not making the split.

That's the point, though; the split _does_ affect the needs of other groups
of users (in many cases, nearly every user of Debian, even if they don't
even realize the existence of the package), and the problems are not limited
to "[some parts of] the package management system [don't] scale" (though
that would be enough for a maintainer to consider).

 - mdz

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