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osOpinion: The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from

Aug 08, 2000, 07:10 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gordon Messmer)

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"I too, have been thinking about the state of package managers, mostly because I'm irritated that rpm format has been changed in a way that is not backwards compatible...."

"The system should use a standard file format. rpm2cpio is a fine example of what I do not want to do. Don't misunderstand, I'm glad that rpm2cpio is available, but do we really need it? If the archive started out as a cpio archive, and all of the additional information was at the end of the file then the additional tool wouldn't be required. If you wanted to extract the contents of the archive, you could apply cpio directly, without the need for an intermediate program that isn't going to be installed on most systems without rpm. The package should be a compressed tar (or cpio) package with headers at the end of the file. I believe that this is the way the SLP packages are implemented. With this arrangement, no special software is needed to use packages created by this package manager...."

"To the greatest extent possible, the system should be modular. Any features that could be handled by a driver should be. Functionality should be built into a shared library, leaving only UI issues in applications. Drivers for file access (one for local, one for ftp, http, smb, maybe use gnome-vfs if available) give us the ability to access packages stored locally or remotely. Drivers for package access (native packages, dpkg, rpm3, rpm4, .tgz, .slp) would give users the ability to install packages for other systems, potentially making both users and packagers happy."

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