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Recent RPM retention in the EPEL repos



Hello all,

Over the past few months I have begun using new features in yum that
support creating local repos that contain a mix of metadata from
various upstream repositories without actually hosting the upstream
packages. The general method of doing this is described here:

http://skvidal.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/creating-a-repo-of-arbitrary-pkgs-at-arbitrary-urls/

So I can snag a few needed RPMs from EPEL, other upstream repos, and
locally hosted RPMs to create one repository for users to configure
and get all the bits they need for a particular purpose. This has
worked great until recent EPEL updates landed and I discovered that
EPEL does not retain any non-current RPMs in its repositories. That
instantly breaks the "local" repository metadata that contains links
to upstream packages that have been removed.

By keeping even just one previously released version of the package in
the EPEL repos there could be a smooth transition for repos like mine.
I suspect as things develop over time more people will be constructing
repos in this fashion.

A second observation about the current state of the EPEL repos is that
if an EPEL update causes things to break and needs to be reverted it
is much easier for all involved if at least the previous version of
the package remains in the repo to be used for a downgrade by the user
of the repository.

For these reasons I'd like to request that EPEL adopt a repository
policy that better support features of yum in use today and that makes
recovery from the inevitable but rare occasions where downgrades are
required by the end user simple. Keeping one or two previous versions
of packages would accomplish both I think.

Thanks,
John


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