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Thread: Building A Better Package Manager

  1. #1
    Mentor coltrane's Avatar
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    Building A Better Package Manager

    Linkage: http://www.madpenguin.org/Article930.html

    from the article:
    While I am one of the biggest proponents of the Linux operating system in the world today, I will be the first to tell you that it has some flaws which are keeping it from the holiest of holys: the desktop. Yeah sure, I have been using it on the desktop for years, but is it right for everyone? Not really. Even with the recent leaps and bounds in development effort on the desktop (read KDE 3.2, GNOME 2.4.2, Xfree86 4.3, etc.) there is one area that needs to be addressed before it can ever be seriously considered. What I am speaking of is the ability to add and remove programs easily, and I am here to offer a suggestion and a design.
    great article!

  2. #2

    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    Yes, I think they do need a better package management system for most distros. I know some old timers feel some are fine the way they are to manually install software, but to compete with Windows, it need to have a better one.

    I can install tarballs with the best of them but I prefer distros that has a good PM system in place.

  3. #3

    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    portage + gui w/ package list and whatnot

    only "better" package manager possible afaik

  4. #4
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    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    Someone didn't tell him about autopackage.org

    I mean it's just another frontend, well it's not even that, it's mockups - the author also suggests adding source support, but without a mediator like ebuilds this is IMPOSSIBLE since projects don't share a common build system (no autoconf/automake isn't universially adapted - xfree fx. does use it).

  5. #5
    Mentor coltrane's Avatar
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    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    I think that what he was trying to relay. Projects should adhere to a standard build system so that we dont have a bunch of rogue standards out there for each new flavor of Linux. This not only makes it easier for the end user / administrator, but also makes for more efficient and timely releases by software developers.

  6. #6
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    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    [quote author=coltrane link=board=13;threadid=8669;start=0#msg78384 date=1076562824]
    I think that what he was trying to relay. Projects should adhere to a standard build system so that we dont have a bunch of rogue standards out there for each new flavor of Linux. This not only makes it easier for the end user / administrator, but also makes for more efficient and timely releases by software developers.
    [/quote]

    Right on.

  7. #7
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    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    [quote author=coltrane link=board=13;threadid=8669;start=0#msg78384 date=1076562824]
    I think that what he was trying to relay. Projects should adhere to a standard build system so that we dont have a bunch of rogue standards out there for each new flavor of Linux. This not only makes it easier for the end user / administrator, but also makes for more efficient and timely releases by software developers.
    [/quote]

    The only problem with a standard build system is .. well, how does Debian which maintains it's stable releases for over a year use the same build system as Fedora that releases every 4 months? Fedora will probably have KDE 3.20 and if you compile against QT, that'll be a newer version than Debian has. The end result being even if the same package format was used on both distributions, the packages would probably be incompatible. The solution I suppose is to use the old libs from Debian for everything, and just, have nobody upgrade until the slowest distribution upgrades. Then packages can install everywhere.

  8. #8
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    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    vvx your point is not clear. If you are saying why standardize because debian is as slow as a sloth, and a package may have a ton of deps -- so what?

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    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    [quote author=Slave Copy link=board=13;threadid=8669;start=0#msg78566 date=1076877402]
    vvx your point is not clear. If you are saying why standardize because debian is as slow as a sloth, and a package may have a ton of deps -- so what?
    [/quote]

    I'll try and give the cliff notes.
    "Fedora will probably have KDE 3.20 and if you compile against QT, that'll be a newer version than Debian has."
    Different distributions have different versions of libs.
    "The end result being even if the same package format was used on both distributions, the packages would probably be incompatible."
    Software compiled for one set of libs won't run on the system with the other (depends how different the libs are.)

    So, any attempt to standardize, requires that everyone agrees to use the same build system. The same version of gcc, the same libs, the same kernel and so on. Dependencies are a non-issue.

  10. #10
    Mentor coltrane's Avatar
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    Re:Building A Better Package Manager

    [quote author=vvx link=board=13;threadid=8669;start=0#msg78589 date=1076904906]
    [quote author=Slave Copy link=board=13;threadid=8669;start=0#msg78566 date=1076877402]
    vvx your point is not clear. If you are saying why standardize because debian is as slow as a sloth, and a package may have a ton of deps -- so what?
    [/quote]

    I'll try and give the cliff notes.
    "Fedora will probably have KDE 3.20 and if you compile against QT, that'll be a newer version than Debian has."
    Different distributions have different versions of libs.
    "The end result being even if the same package format was used on both distributions, the packages would probably be incompatible."
    Software compiled for one set of libs won't run on the system with the other (depends how different the libs are.)

    So, any attempt to standardize, requires that everyone agrees to use the same build system. The same version of gcc, the same libs, the same kernel and so on. Dependencies are a non-issue.
    [/quote]

    This is where you get into multiple packages for different versions. Compliant Build 2.33 can be used on systems with "these" configurations (kernel, libs, gcc), and Compliannt Build 3.2 can be used on the others (which has updated kernel, libs, gcc).


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