redundant updating of packages

Bug #83553 reported by Bogdan Butnaru
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
dpkg (Ubuntu)
ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: kde

Hi! I noticed today the Software Updates applet suggested some 87 updates, and I was curious to see what changed. I was surprised to notice that a full 28 of these were KDE packages that were updated from version 4:3.5.6-0ubuntu4 to 4:3.5.6-0ubuntu5. The only change was:

  * Add kubuntu_88_logout_fade.diff from Stefan Skotte <email address hidden>
    based on

Now what I don't understand is why I have to re-download all those packages, including obviously unrelated things like Kate and Konsole and Kprint. I'm not sure, but I think it led to reinstalling pretty much everything I have from KDE. Not only it's annoying, having to download 17 MB instead of at most one, but it's a burden on the servers, too.

I think there should be a way to make updates and affect the minimum number of packages.

Revision history for this message
Bogdan Butnaru (bogdanb) wrote :

Oh, this is about KDE only because that's the package I noticed today. I've seen this happen with many other sets of related packages.

Revision history for this message
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

Nothing to do with ubuntu-meta - not really anything specifically to do with meta-kde either except that the KDE packages are pretty big and monolithic and so run into this aspect of the structure of the packaging system a lot.

It definitely wouldn't have upgraded all of KDE, just all the binaries from the source package kdebase. Upgrades happen at the granularity of source packages, because that's what developers upload.

Changed in ubuntu-meta:
status: New → Invalid
Revision history for this message
Jonathan Jesse (jjesse) wrote :

Are you still having problesm with redunant updating of packages? If so could please update this bug?

Changed in meta-kde:
assignee: nobody → jjesse
status: New → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Bogdan Butnaru (bogdanb) wrote :

Yes, of a sort. I still get lots of KDE packages updated only because of small changes in one component, although this is mitigated somewhat by my removing most of KDE by hand.

If I understand the updating process correctly, this is caused by the fact that KDE comes in a big fat source package, and a single update requires re-compiling everything else. So it's not something that can be solved at update (aptitude) level. AFAIK the only fix would be splitting the big KDE source package in several smaller source packages, a bit like gnome does. I'm not sure how realistic that is.

Changed in meta-kde:
status: Incomplete → New
Revision history for this message
Jonathan Jesse (jjesse) wrote :

Assigning this to the Kubuntu team... I think this hsould be a wishlist item

Changed in meta-kde:
assignee: jjesse → kubuntu-team
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Terence Simpson (tsimpson) wrote :

KDE is split in to several packages already, kdelibs, kdebase, kdeadmin, kdeedu, etc. So a change in one doesn't necessarily mean you have to rebuild the whole of KDE.

Revision history for this message
Bogdan Butnaru (bogdanb) wrote :

Yes, of course, it's not a single package for all of KDE. But some of those are still pretty big. For example, kdebase is 30MB of sources, and it generates a whole lot of binary packages: kdebase, kappfinder, kate, kcontrol, kdebase-bin, kdebase-bin-kde3, kdebase-data, kdebase-dev, kdebase-doc, kdebase-doc-html, kdebase-kio-plugins, kdepasswd, kdeprint, kdesktop, kdm, kfind, khelpcenter, kicker, klipper, kmenuedit, konqueror, konqueror-nsplugins, konsole, kpager, kpersonalizer, ksmserver, ksplash, ksysguard, ksysguardd, ktip, kwin, libkonq4, libkonq4-dev and kdebase-dbg.

Now, I don't know the exact build system in much detail, especially the KDE part. But as far as know all of those packages are re-generated at every compile (that is, any time at least one of them is changed), and as a result all are upgraded (at least, those installed). And it seems strange to upgrade konqueror just because, say, a bug was fixed in kate or in klipper. It's not just inconvenient, it's a waste of bandwidth—especially for the Ubuntu servers. It's not huge, but it is suboptimal.

(It used to be annoying for me, too, until I uninstalled most of them.)

Revision history for this message
Harald Sitter (apachelogger) wrote :

Unassign Kubuntu Team. Moving to dpkg.

If dpkg would be any more reasonable in versioning packages (e.g. only bump version if binary content actually changed, or use per-file-versions like conary) redundant updating wouldn't happen.

Changed in kdebase:
assignee: kubuntu-team → nobody
Revision history for this message
RK (kubuntu-rk) wrote :

Isn't the core issue here that Ubuntu doesn't have any infrastructure to provide delta packages like e.g. OpenSuSE does? Because you can start splitting packages all you want, if an update to a 10MB documentation package that changes just one file of it requires a 10MB download without delta packages instead of approximately only the size of the changed file...

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