I was thinking that Distro such as Gentoo would be good for such a project.
Gentoo has ofcourse it's Portage - which supports packages and all that. It is definetely a long way behind Debian's dpkg system in that it doesn't do dependencies very quickly or very well yet.
My reason for pointing to this distro, is that it fully supports dpkg and rpm packages on the same system. Only thing needed for this to work flawlessly, is to "tell" the different packages systems which dependencies are actually covered by another packaging system. If this was worked out - you would have a VERY flexible system, with support for whatever packages you wanted.
The cool thing about using portage (the Gentoo package system) is that you can have your own versions of certain packages (not all of them - there is GRP - and there will be a continously updated, fully-binary, set of packages soon too), which means that people needing this - and many people do, can have this satisfied without having to write their own packages (requires a great deal of knowledge IMHO - I do it for customers - but it also means they have to maintain this, which also requires knowledge), and this also means that the system still can watch out what packages needs updating, and the only extra work for them (as opose to using the binary package) is a little extra compiling work - but NOTHING more - they don't need to understand anything - and the usual system security stuff can notice the package needs updating, and the package system can fully un-install their "special/custom" package.
I'll stop myself, before I keep blurting out my ideas, but I hope you can see what I mean :)
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