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Re: Package support (RPM, deb, pkg, kits, etc.)

From: Rusty Ballinger
Subject: Re: Package support (RPM, deb, pkg, kits, etc.)
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 15:42:32 -0800

> There were two reasons I stopped doing this.
> One reason is that it isn't clear that this is needed.  At least the
> Debian and RPM communities have already solved these problems to their
> satisfaction.

I disagree in two ways:

- As a developer who builds & distributes packages, I'd love a tool which
  abstracts platform-specific packaging, the same way autoconf & automake
  abstract platform-specific building.  I don't want to become a member of
  every packaging tool's community; I just want it to be easy to build a
  variety of package formats from a single source tree & package description.

- As an end user who builds & installs software on my own systems, I would
  rather build & install a package appropriate to my system than "make
  install".  (That way, you can tell which package a given file came from,
  which files are in a given package, and where a given package came from,
  and you don't have to keep the source tree around in case you ever want to
  do a "make uninstall".)  I would much rather learn how to type "make deb"
  or "make deb-install" or "make package" (or whatever) than learn how to
  build my own packages on the three different packaging systems I use.
  (Bothersome enough already to learn & remember three different sets of
  commands for querying the package databases!)

> Introducing another tool would probably just make things harder for
> Debian/RPM package maintainers.

How so?  (If they don't want to use the tool, they don't have to!)  If the
concern is that ease-of-building might lead to a confusing proliferation of
semi-broken packages, I think there are reasonably easy ways to tell whether
a given package is the one you built & can vouch for.


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