Heyho everyone, i hope I have everyone copied in that needs to be. If not please feel free to forward/add more/whatever is appropriate. As I already said multiple times in the past, ftpmaster does want to get rid of long descriptions in the Packages files. This should get them noticably smaller, so faster to download and probably also faster to process. We do want to end up with english being handled just like any other language is - as a translation pack available to download from your nearest mirror. Benefits: - smaller Packages files everywhere. - faster processing of the files due to less data in them - user that do not want english no longer need to download the double size of data. - user that do not want long description could opt out totally (if tools like aptitude/apt allow them to) Now, it needs a bit of work and input from multiple teams inside Debian, so lets start discussing what needs to happen / start working on it. Lets start with l10n: I assume you do get new descriptions and updated ones (english) from our Packages files? In that case there wouldn't be the input for you anymore, so you couldn't provide us an english "Translation". My current plan would be that the archive will provide the english translation file, so you can grab that and do with it whatever you do today with Packages. If that does work for you, it will mean in the i18n tree *we* will provide Translation-en.bz2, you fetch that, you get that back to us in the normal way. Or somehow like this. It will also mean changes to apt-ftparchive, so lets get to the apt maintainers: It would mean changes to apt-ftparchive, so it can (at least in generate mode) output the description in a different file. That files layout is simple 822 format of lines as ---+++--- Package: $PACKAGE Description-md5: $MD5 Description-en: $DESCRIPTION, short and long +++---+++ which should be easy enough to output. When such an output file is configured, the descriptions should no longer get written to the Packages files. (Sidenote: Can we PLEASE DROP MD5 when we are going to work on it?) Everyone: Do you see any problem with us simply going this way and throwing away descriptions, without providing backward "compatibility" files for one release? I just did a short test and neither apt-get nor aptitude nor apt-cache did fail on a missing long description (note that we keep the short one!). So the only bad point I see from a users POV is that on dist-upgrade time they will, for a short timeframe, see packages without a description, unless they use a translation anyways. Actually - would apt just start to download the Translation-en.bz2 file if it appears to be there? *I* think missing long descs right in the middle of a dist-upgrade is of small enough impact, especially as we want people to update apt and friends first in a seperate step anyways and can be dealt with with a proper paragraph in the release notes, and its not bad enough for us to have a legacy file around for a year. But I may have missed an important tool breakage, so feel free to correct me. If possible I would want to have this done within the next few weeks. Current workload seems to be: - Find out if anything breaks if long descriptions are now elsewhere. - Modify apt-ftparchive to be able to output long descriptions into a different file. apt-maintainer: I do not speak C++ myself, so I am unable to provide a patch. :( Can you, (i don't know your workload) implement this change sometime soon, and if so can you give me a rough timeline for it? If you don't have time for this I can go and ask via planet, and will probably get help and a patch from there. Leaves integration and upload "only" for you. As I do need this on ftp-master machine too, it would even rock if we could backport that function in apt-ftparchive to stable, if not I have to backport the whole apt and depends, which I would rather avoid... - Modify the l10n side (and here its partly guess-work from me what needs to happen) to use the new file for the english descriptions as input, and adapt the sync process l10n<->ftpmaster. Also who of you is/will be behind this? -- bye, Joerg > Or write yourself a DFSG-free replacement for that piece of software. Using the copy and paste method from the old source, obscured by irrelevant changes.
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