dpkg v rpm
Posted Jan 26, 2011 17:58 UTC (Wed) by iabervon
In reply to: dpkg v rpm
Parent article: Untz: Results of the App Installer meeting, and some thoughts on cross-distro collaboration
Take a distro to its component parts of the OS:
1. kernel -pretty much 'upstream' + 'whatever'
2. basic 'get you booted' utilities.
parts 1, 2, and 3 need to be very similar for us to call it 'linux' don't they?
Parts 1 and 2 are generally very similar (although the initial filesystem stuff was, at least until recently, totally custom for each distro). But part 3 varies widely between distros, at least with respect to the willingness to experiment with alternatives and be early adopters. Distros varied in when they started using Pulseaudio; what replacement(s) for sysv init they tried; how they set up networking; the support code for init scripts; when they adopted what of hal/dbus/udev/ConsoleKit/PolicyKit; the default mail server; the default mailbox file format; and so on, down to whether they ship a version of Alpine that outputs utf-8 or are too concerned about the legal status of those patches. And, of course, these adoption decisions are made using the distro's project governance process.
Furthermore, these differences trickle into the packages; when one distro is using upstart and another is using sysv init, their apache packages have to include different scripts to manage getting apache to run, and when a third distro is also using upstart, there isn't a way to avoid duplicating the uninteresting work of maintaining the script for the apache package.
That is, the differentiation between distros is a bunch of choices the distro makes that matter in small but critical ways to the packages they ultimately provide. This forces them to maintain their own packages independently, and the individualized packages are a cost, not a benefit, of the differentiation.
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