[linux-elitists] Packaging, deps, and office suites

Ruben Safir ruben@mrbrklyn.com
Mon Oct 29 19:54:33 PDT 2007


> > > when their dependant package is removed.  
> > 
> > unless they shouldn't.  The whole package management concept is flawed.
> 
> Ah:  "It doesn't work."
> 
> Rant much?
> 
> Please see:
> 
>     http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html
> 


Interesting but a flawed paper ;)  Frankly, too much is expected from the
end user.  To most people, when it doesn't work, it just suddenly doesn't
work.  Most programs don't give enough debugging information.  When a mod_perl
and ebmperl from craps out, the actually line of code is given where the 
program died with some information a user can pass to the programer.  NOW THAT
IS USEFUL (emphasis, not screaming).

Most programs just crash without as much as a whimper.  They disapear like
a champain bubble.  Go tell the user to giver you detailed information about
how that happens.  Good luck.

> If you can describe one or more specific instances of undesired behavior
> regarding package management behavior, please do.  Better yet, report
> them as bugs.  Effectively.
>

I don't want to turn this into a flame war, but packagemanagement is just flawed
conceptually.  It assumes a bunch of dependencies based on presumptions about
the distros, naming conventions, and more.  Add something by source code and
they fall apart.  This is a bad concept which has been imported from propretary
software where tight control of the system's software is a desirable trait for
the company. 

Instead of keeping tract of stupid naming conventions and files in a database,
there already IS a database.  That database is called the FILE SYSTEM, an 
organized collection of inodes.

Programs should LOOK for their dependencies in a variety of rational locations.
It should know that if lib 1.0 works, then 1.2 should work, and be leery or
2.0 only if the programmer says so.

It can cheat and use the 'locate' command if it needs to.  It should not
be dependent on a bunch of distro specific crap, and it shouldn't matter
where it puts itself (other  than that it should put itself where you want it).


> The whole concept really *isn't* flawed, though specific elements of the
> implementation may be.
> 

Eh - It's the only means most people have to update their systems, but it sucks.

There is a lot to learn from autoconf (and ports).

> 
> Peace.

Shalom ...

Ruben
> 
> -- 
> Karsten M. Self <karsten@linuxmafia.com>        http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten
>     Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.



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"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

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