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Re: RFC: allow output from maintainer scripts

On Mon, Oct 30, 2000 at 09:22:02AM +1100, Brian May wrote:
> I can't help but think though that this indicates a bigger problem
> in our reliance on maintainer scripts - it is not possible to add new
> features without:
> - hard-coding the entire feature in the maintainer script
> - depending on another package which codes the feature.
> Not sure on the best solution. Here is one that comes to mind:

Yes, this seems to be a general problem.  How about the following
solution?  A bit messy, but might work, maybe with modifications.
Have a distribution called "upgrade-prereq" (pointing to
upgrade-prereq-woody initially) which contains the package
upgrade-prereq and any *major* packages which are necessary for a
significant number of packages from testing/unstable to work.  These
would have to be compiled on a stable system, so that they can be
installed on a stable system.  Then we would have to educate users
(debian(-devel)-announce) that for partial upgrades, one must add the
upgrade-prereq distribution to the /etc/apt/sources.list and install
the package upgrade-prereq.  This package would have versioned depends
on all of the packages in the upgrade-prereq distribution.

Examples of packages which would be suitable for the upgrade-prereq

  dpkg   for such things as dpkg-log
  apt    if a new version is needed to handle something special
  man-db for partial upgrades to potato (FHS issue)

We could even make upgrade-prereq an essential package in the stable
distribution which depends upon the correct versions of these
packages, and somehow (how?) ensure that when upgrading the
distribution, the upgrade-prereq package is upgraded first, pulling in
the versions of the key packages needed for the upgrade.

Does this sound at all reasonable?



  Julian Gilbey, Dept of Maths, QMW, Univ. of London. J.D.Gilbey@qmw.ac.uk
        Debian GNU/Linux Developer,  see http://www.debian.org/~jdg
  Donate free food to the world's hungry: see http://www.thehungersite.com/

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