LinuxToday.com.au: Linux Package Management Needs a Wakeup Call
Nov 27, 2000, 19:32 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by ozone)
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"Unfortunately, if you're a developer, you have to supply your
software in both .rpm and .deb if you really want to make a Good
Impression on the Linux community. Some commercial developers
actually do this, leaving Debian and Red Hat users happy, and users
of other distributions grumbling. Are you running Slackware?
Stampede? Sorry, you're out of luck. Even SuSE has problems
installing many .rpm packages."
"To get around this problem, instead of giving users these weird
.rpm and .deb files, developers sometimes use like Loki's Setup
Graphic Installer instead, or supply their own Setup shell scripts
to 'make things easier' for the users out there. These are
distribution-neutral installation mechanisms which aren't tied to
any particular package management software, and they often even
come with their own de-installation scripts. So, everything's fine
and dandy now ... right? Not quite. ... Even if a program installs
files to all the right places and doesn't touch the /usr directory
tree, you suddenly have packages which are on the system, but rpm
and dpkg don't know about what facilities it provides, so it breaks
your dependency checking."
"This is horrible. Users shouldn't have to go hunting around
their file system looking in directories they didn't even know
existed just to configure a piece of software, or find out where a
piece of software has been installed. The Linux community needs to
set higher standards for package management."