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Re: [olpc-software] Package manager stuff

On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 06:40:11PM +0000, Mike Hearn wrote:
> * Software I want is missing
> * Software I want is out of date
> * I followed instructions on the web page which usually means I tried
>   to compile something and failed
> * I do not know these tools exist (even if they're in the menus, I do
>   not think to look there as Windows/Mac don't work that way)
> * I cannot find what I want (see synaptic)
> * I found what I want but due to a mistake by the packager it does not
>   install
> * I found what I want, installed it, and now my system is broke
>   (for instance that was happening for the Banshee nrpms packages
>   a few months ago)

None of which are anything to do with the package system itself or cured
by changing it.

> see lots of threads with people having these problems. So I claim these
> tools are not robust enough. At least not for a world without sysadmins.

Nokia think otherwise, as do numerous other vendors.

> > And union mount with notifiers really really hard to do right and race free.
> The union mount itself would not be watched. The actual, physical
> directories would be watched.

So you will be rewriting all the directory watching logic ?

> That's an artifact of current Linux packaging conventions. Look at how
> it's handled on Windows or the Mac, and you'll see that these operating
> systems have no issues with users running two versions of things at
> once.

Completely untrue. Its such a mess in Windows that its got a name. Its called
"DLL hell"

> a fully blown computer. You don't expect to be able to easily swap
> software with other N770 users, instead, you expect to install it from

Wrong.  Thats specifically expected and its a key part of making any device
have a community.

> the web. To download it then send it to somebody else you'd have to keep
> the package around, which wastes storage space. There is no attempt to
> deal with two programs that happen to share the same name. 

The keeping the package around case is true for the current implementation and
its once place the olpc clearly differs, but you only need to keep the headers,
scripts and hashes to regenerate the package itself.

> Library updates don't break apps, because the distro is carefully
> controlled to ensure that it doesn't happen. ABI checker tools exist and
> can be improved, updates can be QAd as usual, and only libraries with a
> firm upstream commitment to compatibility would be a part of the
> platform.

Nice theory but it doesn't work. You can only get so close even with API
versioning, especially if you don't have the manpower resources dedicated to
the project and to fork each upstream project long term.


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