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Re: RFC: Soname in rpm name



On Tue, 2005-01-25 at 02:24 -0200, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
> Having package installers pin user-selected packages, or unpin
> packages brought in only to satisfy dependencies, would enable all
> cases to work, not only the shared library case, even without a
> special provides or the too-inclusive mechanism proposed by jeff.

The pacman package manager from Arch Linux (which I used to package
GNOME for) seems to have recently gained a feature like this.  It's
fortunately better then just pinning; pinning means the package can't be
upgraded.

Basically, pacman marks for each installed package whether the package
was pulled in explicitly by the user or as a dependency of another
package.  There is then a command that can remove any package which was
not explicitly requested by the user and which is not depended on.

If this was combined and made a little smarter to deal with RPM groups
(something else that pacman supports, albeit in a much different way)
then the method could be used in rpm and would probably work very well.

Debian also has the deborphan utility, although it isn't very
intelligent at all; it just bases its decisions on whether a package has
dependencies, which can lead to a lot of manual intervention after it
generates a package removal list.  I think the model used by pacman is
superior here.


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