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Re: When to split a package?

On Mon, Jul 03, 2006 at 08:23:50PM -0500, Luis Rodrigo Gallardo Cruz wrote:
> Having recently taken over maintaining sawfish, I ran lintian -I on it
> and got
> I: sawfish: arch-dep-package-has-big-usr-share 4848kB 90%
> which refers me to
> http://www.debian.org/doc/developers-reference/ch-best-pkging-practices#s-bpp-archindepdata
> > ... However, if the size of the data is considerable, consider splitting
> > it out into a separate, architecture-independent package
> > ("_all.deb") ...
> Now, I plainly see that in this case 'the size of the data' is
> 'considerable' and will work on splitting the package. But ... is
> there some sort of general guideline on when to do this?
> Creating more binary packages certainly has some sort of cost (The
> size of the packages file, at least). How do I estimate those costs? 
> How do I estimate the savings gained from splitting? 
> (number of archs) * (size of _all.deb)?
One way is just to try it and see :)

One the one hand, it is somewhat annoying for users to have to install
a bajillion tiny packages on each machine; at the same time it is nice
to not include the same data in the archive 12 times.

In your case, the arch-dep package will depend on the -indep one, so
it doesn't cost the user much at all.  How big is your /usr/share/ ?
I would say that splitting out only a megabyte is probably not worth
it (though it does save ~11MB on the archive), but splitting 10MB
surely is.


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