Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
On properly packaging perl
Posted Aug 22, 2009 2:15 UTC (Sat) by MattPerry (guest, #46341)
Posted Aug 22, 2009 6:15 UTC (Sat) by bojan (subscriber, #14302)
It also allows each distro to bring their own ideas forward. Some stick, some don't, but this is how they get proven (or not).
Posted Aug 23, 2009 1:54 UTC (Sun) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
That does not mean that you have to do the packages separately for each and every distro. Also it does not mean that the majority of the packages should be customized to that degree.
There are a few things going on here...
Maybe quite a few application customizations that are compile-time options can be made to be runtime configuration options. That way you can do things upstream and still get the customization you need downstream. There probably has to be a understanding of what is a 'application' and what is a core system.
Even things that need to be compile time that does not mean that you still can't do packages upstream. Every decent package management system is perfectly capable of working on the source code level. Both Debs and RPMs have 'src' verions and tools.
The vast majority of upstream projects already package their software. Of course that package format is usually just tarballs. Even if binary compatibility is out of the question for some things it still does not mean packaging can't be done in a way that it is shared among all distros.
As a end user one of the things that I always hate is having to give up Debian's packages. A few years ago trying to use CentOS or Fedora was hell for me because functionality and things I took for granted couldn't be done without huge amount of work.
Nowadays Fedora is closer to Debian, but that is taking a huge amount of effort and a huge amount of time on the part of the Fedora folks. It's years and it's still not quite up to the same level. I applaud the hard work and the dedication.. but essentially a lot of what they are doing is just doing work that was already done.
And it goes the other way also.
Debian could benefit heavily from the work Redhat and Fedora on putting into things like Virt-Manager and 389 Directory server. Sure Debian has Virt-Manager stuff packaged, but it's not really up to date and sucks compared to Fedora's version. There are a few differences that need to be taken into account... like Debian does not have the default firewall configuration that is used for Virt-Manager.. but that's not really that big of deal.
And 389 doesn't exist at all for Debian users as far as I can tell. If I was running a organization that already had LDAP and Kerberos intergration based around Debian systems (which is done in a very excellent way for Debian, btw. Does Fedora have things down to little details like Kerberos compatibility packages for OpenAFS so that K5-based users can still authenticaiton to use AFS?) and I want to take a look at 389 it would either mean I would be stuck building my own packages from scratch or switching out my operating system.
There is a huge amount of software that never really is that easily accessable to end users because it's never been packaged and tested very well. At work I am not in a position to spend time working out how to compile, package, and test applications... I have a busy enough time dealing with production issues and evaluating software that is already built and packaged by experts.
Posted Aug 23, 2009 21:52 UTC (Sun) by bojan (subscriber, #14302)
Example: Recently we had a mass rebuild of packages for F-12, because the target will be i686, not i586 like in F-11. Now, if things were done the way you are suggesting, a decision like that would have to be coordinated among all distros, so that upstream starts shipping that at some magical point.
There is about zero chance of that happening.
Re: On properly packaging perl
Posted Aug 24, 2009 5:43 UTC (Mon) by nevyn (subscriber, #33129)
There probably has to be a understanding of what is a 'application' and what is a core system.
No, there doesn't. On a very superficial level, yeh, "everyone" knows glibc is part of the core system and gnucash is an application. But what about say python? And how do you split python, and why do you do those splits. This is all to do with the higher level applications and their deps. (much like the perl splits) ... which are completely different among distros. (or they'd be identical).
Realistically there's just not enough agreement to do "generic distro." packages, even if upstream was qualified/motivated to do them (which they aren't, or they'd be Fedora/Debian/etc. packagers already).
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds