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osOpinion: Filing for Dependency

Aug 07, 2000, 06:52 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Amy Lear)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"As GNU/Linux has moved through various stages of renown, functionality, and 'ease of use', many things have improved. Hardware support is increasingly broad, applications are available for nearly any imaginable task, and we have a distribution devoted to nearly any type of end user need. This is all fine and dandy, but sometimes it seems like we have a little too much variety; there are a lot of choices out there, and they don't always seem to mix. And, in some areas, there's not an abundance of choices. Not if you want to distribute a program in some packaged form. It seems that nowadays, there's three ways of distributing a program. In a tarball (be it a .gz or .bz2), in a Debian package, or in a RPM."

"These are all fine methods of packaging a piece of software, but they each have their places, and they aren't as comprehensive as I would like. A tarball is perfectly fine for source code, since it has all the features you need (unpack the files into a specific location), but it falls short for other purposes, as it (being merely an archiving method) has no provisions for scripting, or dependency. RPM is also a wonderful system for the environment in which it was developed: the Red Hat distribution. It does a lovely job of tracking dependencies, handling pre- and post- install scripting, and the like, but it, too, falls short in a rather crucial manner: it is extremely dependant on origins."

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