[arch-general] Ye Olde Package Manager

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Sat Jan 15 20:01:01 EST 2011

On 16/01/11 09:56, Brendan Long wrote:
> On 01/15/2011 03:14 PM, Allan McRae wrote:
>> It is not so much having the data in a real database, but not having
>> it spread over hundreds of small files.  This has been largely fixed
>> in the developmental branch of pacman, which is a lot faster.  It
>> could probably be improved further, but the complaints to patches
>> ratio is really poor.
> I would've written a patch for pacman, but these threads[1][2] lead me
> to believe that the Arch devs weren't interested. The "solution" given
> was to use a different filesystem (which sounds more like a temporary
> work-around to me).
> [1] https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=45077
> [2]
> http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/pacman-dev/2008-January/005521.html

As I said, it is not having the data in a real database format that was 
needed.  It was reducing the numbers of files that pacman had to read.
Implementing a tar based backend was well known as an acceptable option 
to achieve this.  In fact the bug tracker task for that was opened by 
the lead pacman developer so it was very likely to be accepted once coded...

There has been low interest in a real database solution due to potential 
issues recovering from corrupt databases and with the additional 
dependencies.  Also no complete database solution was ever submitted 
(only very incomplete proof-of-concepts afaik) and no-one had shown that 
a database solution would be markedly faster than the tar based one 
where the issues of many small files are removed.


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