Thursday, 19 August 2004
I wrote a while ago about the problem I saw with large Packages and Sources files, and AJ jumped on what I'd written. I've been away for a while since and not had a chance to respond. Basically, I don't have a problem with what AJ's suggesting - I hadn't seen the pdiff idea before so thanks for the pointer. I prefer the timestamped and sorted Packages file personally (compared to a potentially large number of extra diff files on the mirror), but I don't have a great attachment to the idea - there's more than one way to do this and so long as something is done then I'll be happy.
One thing that's not clear from AJ's description of pdiffs is how a client should work out which diffs it needs. Timestamps could be unreliable unless the client and ftpmaster agree on times. But Daniel mentioned earlier that simply MD5ing the client's existing Packages file and having it ask for diff.<MD5> from the server should do the job. Fine, I see how that works.
So, next thing to do is have a look at the archive scripts to make this work...
Debian-cd is probably like a lot of the infrastructure packages that we use, in that the packaged versions are generally out of date and therefore not very useful for Debian developers. But we should still package them, as that way our users get neatly-packaged stuff easily available instead of having to fight cvs/svn to download them.
debian-cd 2.2.18 should contain all the various local patches and tweaks that most of us have been using over the CVS version for the last few months, and I'm about to upload it with urgency=medium so it will make the sarge release. It shouldn't cause any issues for the build daemons, as it's binary-all anyway.
Once sarge is released, I want to get stuck in and make some large changes to the way debian-cd works. Obviously, the first of these will be to use JTE (which is too big a change to go in so close to a release IMHO). Secondly, I'd like to refactor and clean up the code to a large extent. Unlike some people, I don't think that debian-cd is particularly in need of replacement - it just needs some cleaning up. The steps required to build debian CDs are always going to be long and complex (and generally messy), and pretending otherwise doesn't help.
I have some basic ideas on how I want to do things, but nothing really worthy of comment just yet. Watch this space!
I've fixed a couple of bugs found by Manty when not creating template files, updated the mkisofs man page and added docs about the new $ARCH-boot support. I've also added a patch against debian-cd HEAD - use this OR the jte_support branch in CVS if you want to use JTE to create debian jigdos.
I was hoping Joerg would take at least the boot patches into the upstream cdrtools package, but his licensing flamewar means it will probably not happen now. I'll have to talk to the various distro maintainers about taking them instead.
Usual place for download: http://www.einval.com/~steve/software/JTE/
NOTE: the JTE patch to mkisofs needs to be applied AFTER debian patches have been applied during the package build process, as that's easiest for people who want to use the rest of the Debian-applied patches too.