packaging system

Emiel Kollof coolvibe at
Thu Oct 30 08:05:55 PST 2003

* Ryan Dooley (dooleyr at xxxxxxxxxxxx) wrote:


> >An apt-like system is something I'd like to see, but I want to stress
> >that I want to see portupgrade go away. Although it serves a need, it's
> >a need that needs to be serviced by the packaging system. And the
> >packaging system should be able to do a better job than portupgrade does
> >now.
> O.k... I'll say it (let me find my kevlar vest... :-)  Why not RPM? 
> There, it was said :-)

Use RedHat for a while (>6 months) on a workstation and find out why not

> I'm not a big fan of RPM but the OpenPKG folks choose it for project 
> (which I happen to really like on Debian :-)
> The OpenPKG mentioned that they needed some sort of package management 
> system because it was unclear whether or not they could have written one 
> to be more successful then others out there.

Well, successful does not imply quality. Look at Microsoft for a good
example :)

> There is also portage from Gentoo which I tend to think is the best of 
> both the apt-get and ports.

Portage can be quirky. And the package-support in portage leaves
something to be desired. When I was using gentoo for a while, the thing
I missed the most was BSD's tarball packages. Compiling glibc, moz, X or
even KDE is NO FUN on a measly PII 400.

> Just more food for thought.  I do agree that requirements should be 
> discussed first but not taboo's.  Be open about it.  If it makes sense 
> to use one that is already out there great, if it make more sense to 
> write one up, equally good.

I think we should mix and match. The upgradeability of Gentoo (which is
one thing they got down right), and a robust packaging system. Also, 
when it comes to compiling apps, something like what OpenBSD does, which 
_always_ creates a package from a port, and then installs the resulting 

Also, very important is being able to search in the package database. A
facility to find out which package contains file foo, and of course
"grepping" through the package db for apps that i.e. have CAD in their
description or somesuch. Kinda like make search in the current ports
tree, but without the hassle of having to regenerate/maintain an INDEX.


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