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Re: Relationship to existing 3rd party repos/CentOS/SL?



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On Apr 14, 2007, at 7:17 AM, Axel Thimm wrote:

Hi,

the voting/decision on repotags was labeled as being 99% a political
one, and no one objected against that old statement. Does the outcome
of EPEL not carrying repotags mean that there is no interest in
cooperation with 3rd party repos?

I'm not after answers on pseudo-technical details, so consider the
above question as rhetorical, instead let me rephrase completely
outside the scope of repotags:

What is EPEL's intended relation to the existing third party repos?

 * Will it jump in the game ignoring that 3rd party repos exist and
   let Darwinism prevail?
 * Will it try to work together with these repos? If yes, in what
   concrete way?
 * Does EPEL consider itself at the same level as these repos, or does
   it place itself higher, pushing any compatibility issues to the
   workload of these repos?

The Fedora/3rd party rift created several years ago is still in the
healing process, I think everyone agrees in retrospect that it wasn't
neccessary and we'd be better off not to allow it to happen in the
first place.

But I see the danger of this history pattern to repeat itself, and
standing with one feet in a 3rd party repo and another in EPEL I'm in
conflict with myself right now, so I'd like us to clarify this.
-- Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net


Hi Axel, I'm a bit confused about which statement you are referring to in your first sentence, could you please clarify for me?

I'm glad that you brought up this subject directly as I feel it does need to be addressed. In your questions, are you referring to all possible "3rd party" repos, or only to a few of the biggest ones - if so, which are considered big enough to be considered?

In my opinion it is difficult at best to enable multiple repos on a single machine. Too many variables come into play that could wreak havoc on a system. This is not meant to be a jab at the packages/ packagers for these repos, but simply a fact that if they don't work with some very strict rules about what is packaged and how it is packaged then people can end up with very strange results. Clearly there are circumstances when a package included in multiple repos could be upgraded in one at which point a system using the package from "repo A" is suddenly upgraded to a package from "repo B" with perhaps unintended/bad results. Repo tags, etc. aside, how is it decided which repo can carry which packages? What if a package that "repo A" wants to include has a dependency in "repo B"? What if the maintainer of a "3rd party" repo suddenly looses interest or ability to maintain the repo and it goes away? It seems it would be a full time job for a group of people to work out all these possibilities and create/enforce rules to try to prevent bad things from happening to unknowing users.

Again, this is only my opinion, but I feel that one good solution is to merge all these external repos as much as possible much as Fedora Extras as done, and EPEL seems to be doing. "3rd party" repo packagers should be encouraged to submit their packages to EPEL so that users can easily access a large number of wanted/needed packages without having to enable separate repos and worry each time that something may conflict, etc. It seems to me that pushing towards one "super repo" ala EPEL ends up with much less overhead and work than trying to make a lot of rules, etc. for all the repos to follow (and argue about). I don't think this means that "3rd party" repos are any less important, but perhaps they should be used more for specialized packages and things that Fedora/RedHat is not legally willing/able to provide. This does not mean I'm saying EPEL is "on a higher level", but I think that there needs to be one central repo which can provide the majority of packages that people want to install.

Axel, I would also be interested to know what your thoughts are on the questions you posed to the list. How would you like to see EPEL and other repos interact (if at all)?

- -Jeff

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