[linux-elitists] [RANT] Debian the Elitist Distribution?

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Fri Feb 20 21:44:03 PST 2004

on Sat, Feb 21, 2004 at 04:01:55PM +1100, Mike MacCana (mikem@cyber.com.au) wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Feb 2004, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > on Tue, Feb 17, 2004 at 08:00:16AM -0800, The Robber of Zork (robber@zork.net) wrote:
> > > begin  Adam Sampson  quotation:
> > >
> > > > This isn't much help if you're trying to unpack an RPM on a non-Linux
> > > > system...
> > >
> > > Why so shy? Which "non-Linux system"?
> >
> > RPM is a binary format.
> As is tar. We already know this.
> > Standard RPM tools ('rpm' or 'alien') require standard RPM libraries to
> > function.
> Its important that any Linux system can unpack an package, and RPM meets
> that (using my personal definition of 'Linux', which is a Linux
> distribution that is attempting to conform to the LSB. If it isn't, then I
> don't think it's Linux. Yes, really).
> The advantage of being able to unpack a Linux (RPM) package on other non
> Linux systems is pretty minimal. 

Those are the words of someone who's never had to resurrect a crippled
system using at-hand tools, whether they be other 'nixen, 'Doze, or
other tools of last resort.

Being able to "ar -x" a DEB and pull out the pieces you need _has_ saved
this homie's ass more than once.

> Does the fact that bz2 isn't installed on most proprietary Unix or
> Windows make .bz2 a 'non Unix native' date format? Nope, because you
> can get tools to easily unpack a bz2 on Soalris, Windows, etc. As you
> can with RPM.

bz2 is a general compression format, not a specific package archive
format.  7zip (IIRC, on the GnuWin II disk) handles this.

I'd _still_ argue against using bz2 in general because it _is_ new
enough not to be generally supported.  On 'Doze, PKZIP is still a
standard (and well supported on 'nix).  In general I prefer tar.gz.

Oh, and I suppos you're aware that both cpio and afio have some solid
technical advantages (in storage format) over tar.  Yet they have a
fraction of the use of tar.  Ever consider that?


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    A few years ago you could buy a CD, knowing that it was a standard
    product... Now, you...find that you can play it in your hi-fi, but
    not in your car.  Next time, you're not going to make that mistake,
    you'll just log on to Kazaa and download an MP3.
    -- Pete Chown, on why DRM promotes piracy.
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