[Dctrl-tools-devel] Description-less packages file

David Kalnischkies kalnischkies at gmail.com
Fri Nov 4 20:22:54 UTC 2011

Hi *,

First of all: Yeah! ;)

On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 16:39, Joerg Jaspert <joerg at debian.org> wrote:
> I just merged a patch from Ansgar to generate the Packages files without
> the English description embedded inside them. Instead they are now
> written into a new file, the "English Translation" file in
> "main/i18n/Translation-en.bz2". They thus appear alongside all other
> translated descriptions as "just another language". apt & co will (or
> should) just download those Translation files to show the description,
> as they do already for all other languages.

Back in the good old days in 2009 [0] in which we discussed that feature
my impression was that we want to remove the long description from the
Packages files, not the complete description - mostly for compatibility
reasons indeed, but having some sort of description available even without
translations doesn't feel that wrong - at least for me.

Anyway, the apt in squeeze supports the removal of long descriptions
in the way it was described back then and is since recently used by
ubuntu as I was told. The complete removal is NOT supported in a way
that it will even do random stuff (aka segfaults) see #647590.

The bugreport claims that aptitude works, which I personally doubt a bit
as it should use the very same codepaths, but even if it would I assume
that other libapt users are failing. I guess other applications/script
make assumptions about the availability of a Description, too.

So, long story short: Is this going to be the implementation ftp-master
chooses for wheezy or are we getting a short description back?

And while we are on it: Could we get i18n/Index (back) and have it look
like a "normal" Release file instead of this ".bz2-only"-listing?
(because apt/wheezy really uses it to avoid requesting not-existent files)

Best regards

David Kalnischkies

[0] http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/debian-l10n-devel/2009-August/000507.html

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