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

Mike MacCana mikem@cyber.com.au
Sun Feb 22 22:17:40 PST 2004

On Sun, 22 Feb 2004, Jim Thompson wrote:

> The whole rpm/deb/... binary-blob thing is an artifact of "old
> thinking".  Linux is (supposed to be) a source-available system.
> Given this, why not just compile from source, ala gentoo?

Why not compile from source ala RPM or Deb? There's a common view that
using a package management system is somehow magically different from
building your own apps. it isn't, in fact it makes it easier to do exactly

I can't imagine Gentoo's packaging system is too different from RPM or Deb
(plus the various tools that sit on top of them) they all add  useful
metadata to standardize the build and install process of their thousands
of packages,

> but in my mind, there is no real functional difference between .deb,
> .rpm, and .cab.

.deb, rpm (with their user tools, like up2date, apt, etc) and emerge are
similar - they provide a standardized way to install, uninstall and
rebuild software. I think you could probably emulate emerges major unique
feature - dependency resolution for source package installs - in a few
lines of shell if you wanted to.

.cab is another, regular archiving format. The real Windows equivalent of
rpm / deb / emerge would be MSI, which mas many of the same benefits.

But I like Emerge because it reminds me of a cool Fischerspooner song :^)


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