Do we need this crap on LWN?
Posted Feb 23, 2007 23:28 UTC (Fri) by eklitzke
In reply to: Do we need this crap on LWN?
Parent article: ESR's goodbye note
Normally this is used for things that aren't libraries. For example, you might want to have multiple kernels installed, multiple versions of MySQL, multiple versions of Python, etc. I think if you were careful you could do this with libraries as well, but I'm not sure how intelligent RPM would be wrt overwriting symlinks. As it stands, Debian based distributions include the package version as a component of the package name, to get around the limitation. This is why, for example, on Ubuntu there is currently a python2.4 and python2.5 package. In an RPM based distribution there would just be a bunch of python packages in the same repository, and by default the newest one is installed -- if you need an older version and it is in the repository, it can be pulled in by another package's dependencies, or you can specify the version you want to install at the command line. This is a useful feature, and there are yum extensions (e.g. installonlyn) that use it in interesting and creative ways.
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