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

Mike MacCana mikem@cyber.com.au
Sun Feb 22 17:56:38 PST 2004

On Fri, 20 Feb 2004, Karsten M. Self wrote:

> 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:
> >
> > 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.

(now remember kids, we're talking about default installs...)

> 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.

Its the words of someone who finds that the out of box installs of most
Operating Systems rarely provide the tools I need.

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

Has anyone ever cursed a bz2 file when trying to unpack it on an old
Solaris box? I wouldn't, I'd just get bz2 on Solaris. If that's a problem
for anyone, they have bigger issues to deal with.

> > 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

Of course - you're aginst formats that aren't available on other
systems in the default installs. Last time I checked, 7zip wasn't
included with Windows. I have no idea why you mentioned it.

If the existence of 7zip  makes bz2 'half ok' then why doesn't it make
RPM - 7zip works with that too...?

> I'd _still_ argue against using bz2 in general because it _is_ new
> enough not to be generally supported.

Fine. I make a point of running a network where its easy to get the
software I need to handle the task, and find formats like RPM and bz2
fine. You prefer to have formats the are available in the default
installs of non-Linux Operating Systems.

Just don't try and justify our difference of opinion with dumb
assumptions. Just because I disagree with you doesn't mean I've never
needed to extract an archive on a system without a native extraction tool installed
by default.


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