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rsyncing package list

Hello apt-dev team;

The unstable debian package list has been changing quite frequently. Hence
when I'm looking for some latest package, I have to 'apt-get update' first
so that I have the most current package pool cached on my system. However,
the package.gz files have grown quite big. Doing 'apt-get update' takes a
lot of time to download the package list from a remote server over my
33.6kbps modem connection. It's ironic that for a 256KB package, I have to
apt-get update couple of MBs.

I guess a lot of modem users may have a similar complaint.

I was wondering, if the package info database could be rsync-ed instead of
being downloaded completely. Whenever package.gz gets updated, I guess
less than 5% of the file must be actually changing. Why can't the file
simply be rsynced? That will reduce bandwidth requirements considerably.

Is it possible for you to use rsync protocol for downloading package list
and incorporate it into the 'apt' system? It will be a neat feature!

Let me know your thoughts.

Rushi Desai
<a.k.a. ~hyporg>

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