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

Mike MacCana mikem@cyber.com.au
Sun Feb 22 22:11:27 PST 2004

On Sun, 22 Feb 2004, Karsten M. Self wrote:

> on Mon, Feb 23, 2004 at 12:56:38PM +1100, Mike MacCana (mikem@cyber.com.au) wrote:
> > 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...)
> Speak for yourself.

I'm speaking about the context of the conversation. You were complaining
that RPM was significantly disadvantaged because tools to deal with it are
non installed by default on non Linux operating systems. If you'd like to
talk about soemthing else, that's fie, but it doesn't look like you are -
rather just disagreeing with me because you can.

> I'm talking direct personal experiences.

Yes, your own and apparently mine too. Which you know about, despite the
fact we've never met. Remarkable.

> You're more than welcome to speak of "standard" GNU/Linux,


> but in my
> experience, broken systems tend not to adhere closely to standards of
> any sort.

Previously we were talking about default installs of non-Linux Operating

We haven't been talking about borken installs, but if you'd like to change
the subject to also include this new topic, that's fine.

> I've been in circumstances where I _couldn't_ access RPMs with tools at
> hand, and forced to a system wipe and install as a result.

I don't believe you, Provide technical details if you want me to.

> > Last time I checked, 7zip wasn't included with Windows. I have no idea
> > why you mentioned it.
> I mentioned it because it _is_ both freely and generally _availble_, if
> not installed by default.  As contrasted with RPM.

What makes it harder to install 7zip on a Windows machine to unpack and
RPM than to unpack a bz2 archive? Or install rpm on solaris to unpack and
rpm than bz2?

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

I thought that may be the case. I have a feeling you may not be aware rpm
exists on Solaris either.

> Not having 7zip in front of me, I'm not able to assess this.


> Note that RPM _remains_ a binary format subject to incompatible change
> over time (and it has).

But not for a very long time. RPM 3 and 4 files are the same - the
database format in the backend has changed but the file type hasn't IIRC.

> > > 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
> Joe sixpack isn't "running a network".  He or she has the tools
> available to him, generally on installation.

I wasn't talking about 'Joe Sixpack', I was talking about System
Administrators. As I said, if the system administrator doesn't have a
network then he/she has bigger fish to fry.

> While this is generally
> less true of GNU/Linux users
> it's still not a good reason to impose
> complex systems requirements and dependencies (referring to RPM).

If you want to talk about end users, how many end users are extracting
package files for one platform on another? A are few, certainly. But
out of these, how many are power users? Probably all. How many power
users have networks? Probably all.

> > 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.
> Ditto.

I have assumed nothing about you and your experiences. Please quote me if
I have. You, OTOH, assumed I has less experience than you for the simple
reason I disgreed with you.


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