Posted Sep 27, 2003 13:57 UTC (Sat) by maney
In reply to: Organizational Effects?
Parent article: The Great Package Management Experiment
The only difference here is that the only distributeable .deb's are from Debian. If .deb were more wide-spread, you would have the same problem.
This proves not to be the case; at least, there are many unnofficial sources for packages wrapped up in .deb form, and in my admittedly not extensive experience they work just fine. Of course you'll want to keep an eye on what other changes may be needed by some packages, but that's going to be true no matter what format the package is in. You can get some idea of the scope of third-party .deb packages by visiting apt-get.org.
Or did you mean to suggest that there are no complete .deb-based distros other than the official Debian? That's not true either, though there certainly are more that are RPM-based. Knocking off a new distro by taking the then-current Red Hat and making a few changes was something of a cottage industry in the late nineties. There's less need for such splintering with Debian, since anyone who really wants an obscure package added to Debian can generally achieve that goal unless there's some legalistic restriction (as with the example of mplayer in this comparison). The Fedora Project ought to help with that - indeed, it seems to aim to recreate a distinctly Debian-like organization aside from (I think) continuing to use RPM packages and something other than apt for package management. <wink>
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