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Re: [K12OSN] Release cycle too fast

I realize that I'm asking for a lot, and I don't want
it interpreted as me being ungrateful.  I'm just
trying to give input from the point of view of
somebody who is primarily a user, and not an

I realize that I can manually install packages, and
even source if I need to.  I've done it before, but
one of the really great things about linux is the
automatic dependency-checking installers like apt,
yum, urpmi (for Mandrake).  But keeping an old system
up to date without that would mean being on an email
list for every application that the old system runs so
I could keep informed of security updates.  

Thanks for the explanation of applications, libraries,
etc.  I'm still a bit confused about it.  I don't
understand why this situation is not possible:  I'm
running FC1.  Application "xyz" needs updating, but no
packages are available because FC1 is unsupported. 
yum xyz2 to get the updated package from the FC2
repository.  But xyz2 requires abc version 2.  My
system has abc version 1.  yum uninstalls xyz1,
uninstalls abc version 1, installs abc version 2, and
installs xyz.  Of course, it also has to take into
account what else depends on abc version 1 and upgrade
that to a version that can use abc version 2.  It gets
complicated, but isn't that what these packaging
systems are supposed to do?  Conceivably, with enough
updates, my FC1 system could become FC2.  At least
that's the way it seems to me, so tell me why I'm
wrong.  (I'm sure I am, otherwise we'd already be
doing it that way).


--- Petre Scheie <petre maltzen net> wrote:

> When you consider that "an application" isn't really
> a single entity but rather  a 
> collection of files--the main executables, myriad
> support libraries, drivers, 
> etc.--updating even just one application isn't
> updating just one thing.  And very often, 
> those support libraries and drivers are used by more
> than one application--that's the 
> point of an operating system.  So, a problem is
> found in one of the libraries, and a new 
> version is created that fixes the problem.  But that
> change may mean that some 
> applications have to also be changed to work with
> the new library.  Most distros come 
> with more than 2000 applications, many
> inter-related. And many/most of those 
> applications are being further developed. In some
> ways, it's amazing they don't release 
> new versions more often than they do.
> Having said that, you don't need to upgrade the
> whole OS just to keep, for example, SSH 
> current.  You DO have to step outside the automated
> tools the Distro vendor provides, 
> and go to installing the packages manually, but on a
> 'older' system that is relatively 
> static--that is, you're not adding additional
> functionality--that's not that hard.  I 
> have some RH 8 boxes in which we just upgrade the
> SSH package as necessary.
> If you want to buy 'tires' for your
> more-than-two-year-old system, and 'buy' is the key 
> word here, check out progeny.com.  For $60 per year
> per box, they will provide patches 
> for your Red Hat 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, systems, and other
> custom platforms for a fee.  For a 
> business, it's a pretty good deal.  If you want FREE
> updates you have to go where free 
> stuff is available, and that means things like
> Fedora.  Perhaps linux usage will some 
> day reach a critical mass such that there will be
> enough people involved that there will 
> be some interested in continually maintaining older
> distributions for free.  But I 
> suspect that day is a ways off yet.
> Petre

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