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

Mike MacCana mikem@cyber.com.au
Sun Feb 22 22:39:43 PST 2004

On Sun, 22 Feb 2004, Jim Thompson wrote:

> Mike MacCana writes:
> > On Sun, 22 Feb 2004, Jim Thompson wrote:
> > 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,
> Yeah, its called 'Makefiles'.

I thought ebuild had additional files including extra metadata outside the
build file - but I could be wrong.

> A lot like how BSD builds (and has built) for years.

I actually like Gentoo a lot better than BSD. I find BSD's split between
packages and ports somewhat unnatural, and a bit difficult when an app
could be installed either way (but before we get into another distro war,
I should state some random thing I like about FreeBSD - ah, yeah, the
documentation's brilliant - I'm amazed at how fast it was to get ipfilter
to do transparent bridging with their doco). There, off topic distro-war
avoidance technique executed.

> > > 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.
> Show me the "auto-build (with cross-compilers) all of 'sarge' from
> source for PowerPC (or your favorite non-x86 target) script.

It'd be pretty easy to do an install of a minimal build environment, fetch
source packages from up2date, do a whatprovides for their dependencies,
fetch them, etc. Though I have minimal experience with cross compiling rpm
includes the ability, through rpmmacros, to cross compile packages for the
six pother architectures other than what you have.

But my distro is already ordering its instructions to take advantage of
whatever CPU I'm using, and using CPU (686) specific instructions for
the important stuff like c libraries etc. So I'm happy with that. From a
performance POV, I wouldn't get too much gain from any further

This is an out of the box RH install, but from having spoken to Debian
maintaining mates there's no reason why you couldn't to the same with


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