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Re: Updating the policy for conflicting binaries names ? [was: Re: Re: New package netgen-lvs with binary /usr/bin/netgen - already taken]

Paride Legovini <pl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> It would certainly work, but as you say it is still irritating. I like
> the idea of putting the binaries in a different directory *and*
> providing a "name compatibility package", as it has been already
> suggested. This package would provide the symlinks in /usr/bin and set
> the needed Conflicts. In this way we allow both packages to be installed
> at the same time while leaving the users enough freedom to chose what to
> have in their PATH.

Oh, hm, yes, I rather like this idea too, particularly combined with
putting those symlink packages in their own namespace (and maybe their own

Maybe this is overkill for the relatively small number of these packages
we run into, but it provides some basis for writing more interesting
tools.  For example, if we could standardize an alternatives-style way of
selecting between various packages providing the same binary names, we
could provide user tools that would let individual users select which one
to prefer by updating their own PATH.

I agree that we're likely to see more of this problem as the overall
universe of software available and has been packaged continues to expand,
and not all of the problems have relatively easy solutions.

(Node, which came up elsewhere in this thread, was a particularly
challenging problem because it was an interpreter and had to be referenced
in #! lines.  Hopefully we won't have that specific problem frequently.)

Russ Allbery (rra@xxxxxxxxxx)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>