[Debian-l10n-devel] Removing long descriptions / english from Packages files

Nicolas François nicolas.francois at centraliens.net
Thu Aug 13 00:43:45 UTC 2009

Hi Jörg,

(I'm adding dpkg. See the original mail there:

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 12:47:46AM +0200, Joerg Jaspert wrote:
> [...]
> 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.

I'm not sure that will be sufficient, unless the Description-md5 field is
added to the Packages file.
The system needs a way to detect when a description changes.

> (Sidenote: Can we PLEASE DROP MD5 when we are going to work on it?)

Now, if we want to remove the MD5, we need to introduce another way to map
descriptions to actual packages.
This could be done with the package's version.

The only drawback would be that when a new version of the package is
available, and the Translation file is not updated, the description would
not be available.

On the other hand, if the goal is to integrate in the archive the
distribution of the Descriptions and their translations, it might be easier
to change the format of the Translation files (for users), and have an
intermediate file format, which can be used by a dak script to create the
final Translation files, based on (Packages, Translation-en).

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