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SubjectRe: the silly RPM thread

On Wed, 7 Apr 1999, Roger Espel Llima wrote:

> If you want to be really helpful, you could go download the GNU cpio
> sources, and add code so it handles RPMs directly, ignoring all extra
> packaging info. (and if you really feel nice that day, might as well do
> .deb too, assuming they're also cpio-based).

.deb is nothing but a plain ar(1) archive. Just as libc.a and
friends (it doesn't contain symbol table, indeed). That is,
$ ar xv asr-manpages_1.2-1.deb
x - debian-binary
x - control.tar.gz
x - data.tar.gz
$ tar ztf data.tar.gz
Source packages are kept as foo_version.orig.tar.gz (pristine source),
foo_version-patchlevel.diff.gz (patch) and foo_version-patchlevel.dsc
(signature). IMHO it's *much* more convenient than SRPM, since you can
download a new patch and rebuild the thing without re-downloading the
pristine source.
Bottom line: for Debian packages you need only ar(1), tar(1) and
gzip(1). Dunno why RH didn't folks put all control data into the member of
cpio archive. Would work equally well.

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