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Re: rpm groups and fedora: a modest proposal



> I collect packages from various places, make a yumgroups.xml (yum's analog 
> to comps.xml), and publish my own package groups in my local custom yum 
> repository.  I'd have to rebuild all the collected packages with my own 
> Group: header if install-group membership was keyed off of that header 
> instead of yumgroups.xml.


That works great for you, but what about the noob who doesn't know how
to do that and doesn't need (yet) another component to deal with in the
Fedora's already complex package management system. 

I hope everyone can agree that the fewer external components we involve
here, the simpler the process becomes and the fewer things can go wrong.
With standardized Group info in the headers you don't have to deal with
issues like users not having up-to-date *.comps.xml files, incomplete
comps, etc. 

That said, you make a very good point about the advantage of an external
file: It makes it simple for the user to group packages however he or
she wants. So I think a compromise can be met by rescinding one of the
points I made earlier: That it would be a bad idea to support both. 


I suggest that we:

1) Agree on a standard set of group names (and make sure at least most
of the third-party maintainers are willing to conform to them)

2) Begin packaging so that, starting with FC3, all packages have one of
these groups in the Group header

3) Design all packaging tools (yum, system-config-package, anaconda,
(apt?)) so that if a *.comps.xml, yumgroups.xml, etc file exists it
takes precedence over the Group field, but if the package does not
appear in an xml file, the Group field is used.


For all I know, step 3 may already be the way it works. Either way, it
seems to me that while there are advantages to the external xml files,
deprecating Group so that grouping data is kept there exclusively is
going to open users up to yet another thing that can go wrong when
managing packages, which is a Bad Thing.

Comments? Appologies if I  sound like I'm speaking out of line here. I
know a lot of the people on this list know a heck of a lot more about
yum/rpm and so forth than I. I'm just calling it I see it here.

--Brad



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