[arch-general] Ye Olde Package Manager

C Anthony Risinger anthony at extof.me
Mon Jan 17 01:44:22 EST 2011

On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 1:43 PM, Brendan Long <korin43 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 01/16/2011 03:10 AM, C Anthony Risinger wrote:
>> ... do you actually _enjoy_ making packages?  do you like it
>> when things break (even if not often, i'm not bashing arch developers
>> or anyone else here) because of small version mismatches/typos/etc.
>> due to the constant requirement for human interaction every step of
>> the way?  do you appreciate the system requiring an unknown amount of
>> your (limited) time each day you decide to update?  don't you ever
>> wish you could just say "hey computer 'ol pal, aggressively follow
>> upstream source for package X and merge remote user Y's with the local
>> configuration, unless either requires changes to package Z -- then ask
>> me first, cuz i run the show here"?
> I actually hate making packages, which is why I like the Arch system. I
> like how if you know how to install a program from source, you know how
> to make an Arch package.

and i am with you 100% here.  it's the total no-nonsense approach to
package management, and one of the things that drew me here.  i can't
remember where i read it but someone once said "Arch is the swiss army
knife of distributions" and that stuck with me; it's a great base to
branch from for many learning and practical solutions.

i'm only trying to make that knife a thunderous foundry ... which
brings me to the other reason i'm here and the solution to said
problem: AUR, peers, and networks of trust.

> Also, no matter how good a program you can write to automatically follow
> upstream, I don't always trust upstream ;) It's nice to have the Arch
> devs make sure something works for me..

and therein lies the problem.  you rely on the Arch developers (who
are few, no matter how individually talented) to make decisions for
you based on other groups of developers (upstream, peerstream/other
distros, etc) which in turn make decisions based on more developers
(dependencies, etc) ...

 ... a "package manager" is the only visible part of this process; the
last link.

what if you don't agree with Arch developers? and, what of those that
don't agree with you? or neither of you?

every other distro and it's gobs of users are doing the nearly the
same things, in parallel, isolated from us, share nothing, with high
degrees of overlap.

so ... let's dump all of us into the same pool, shoot for a 1-to-1
app-to-package relationship, with adaptive dependency structures
depending on your personal trust network.  let's make it a nice
flexible platform.  let's make it really easy for the headwaters to
participate, and even easier for the downstreams and confluences ...

... implementation and ubiquity means you lose your bash PKGBUILDs,
but you gain the mass/force of entire {Linux,GNU, ... }-based OS
ecosystems.  let's add some "depth" to the words we use ;-)

C Anthony

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