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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]

On Sun, Sep 09, 2018 at 09:32:36PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Paride Legovini writes ("Re: Updating the policy for conflicting binaries names ? [was: Re: Re: New package netgen-lvs with binary /usr/bin/netgen - already taken]"):
> > 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.
> This is not a bad idea but we should impose some serious restrictions:
>  * The basic principle is that the compat name, and the compat
>    package, is provided for users and nothing in Debian (even the
>    package itself) may use it.
>  * Other packages MUST NOT depend on or recommend the -debcompat
>    package.  The reasons for this should be obvious.
>  * No program (including parts of the same package) should run the
>    program by the compat name (by setting PATH, for exmaple).
>    This is because PATH settings leak: modern software often calls
>    other programs, and even if it doesn't do so now it may do so in
>    future.

Even this runs the risk of a user thinking "OK, so now I have a choice
between rewriting existing scripts and installing the -debcompat package;
come on, rewrite scripts, really?!" and getting into the habit of
installing the -debcompat package, putting that into all kinds of
automated installations and local (DarkPAN-style) packages and install
scripts, etc...  and then, months down the road, somebody else wants to
install the other package and it's much more work to rewrite all the scripts
*then*, when they should have been rewritten earlier.

Just a datapoint; I personally do not have any kind of stake in this.


Peter Pentchev  roam@{ringlet.net,debian.org,FreeBSD.org} pp@xxxxxxxxxxxx
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