[pacman-dev] Libalpm direction and usage by others

Dario Freddi drf54321 at yahoo.it
Thu Mar 27 18:58:27 EDT 2008

> Well, I am not sure why you felt offended, Dan didn't mean it that way.
I'm not offended, I just feared that libalpm could disappear and all my 
efforts wasted.
> What you did is indeed great, that would be the first real frontend 
> using libalpm. (well there is also gfpm using frugalware's libpacman, 
> but I don't think anyone really ported it to libalpm, at least it's not 
> uptodate).
Thanks a lot :)
> But actually, that's the point, you are the only one, while there are 
> countless of others tools simply calling pacman, or parsing the stuff 
> themselves.
Exactly. This is the point. Experience teaches me one thing: people 
stick to habits. I think the only reason I developed Shaman this way is 
because I'm new to Arch, and alpm already existed. If Shaman previously 
used pacman and worked, I don't think I'd have taken the risk to port it 
to alpm. Or maybe, people still fear libalpm. Maybe they don't even know 
what it does, why it exists. Maybe they think it's a bit harder, well it 
is. But there is a huge difference.
> Still, your project should give us a better idea about the quality and 
> usefulness of libalpm, and I hope that you will have concrete 
> suggestions for improving libalpm and making it more friendly to use :)
That's why I showed you the link here. It was not a "oh, look, I'm so 
good", because I consider myself a really worse coder than the ones who 
develop pacman/alpm, and I'm speaking for real. I'm not talking about 
who can code better, I'm talking about ideas, and not coding.
Sorry to say that, but Xavier, it was you who answered my mail. It was 
you who answered Lukas when he asked about alpm version. It is you that 
says that doors are open, and I really appreciate that.

The point is that, even here, you're the only one. Because nobody else 
replied to that mail (or at least, replied to the point of that mail) 
but you. I don't pretend to be the solution of all the problems, and 
maybe some of my ideas are wrong, but developing Shaman helped me seeing 
a lot of flaws in alpm. A lot of unsafe behaviours. And this doesn't 
mean that I think alpm is totally shit. Do you think I'd have developed 
something upon pure shit? I'm not so masochist.

Ok, sometimes I said it was, but it was frustration that made me speak. 
And I DO think that libalpm is worth the effort.

Shaman is the living demostration that alpm works, that alpm is useful, 
both to developers and users, even if it has some design flaws. And I 
don't want it to die, because it doesn't have to. Alpm is more 
stable/efficient than apt/dpkg in my opinion, even if some bad choices 
in DB handling make it slower in searching and loading the database, but 
I've seen nothing handling package processing that fast, and that's the 
reason why I bet on Shaman, and I'd still make the same choice now.

But I do believe that libalpm can be even faster. That something can be 
improved to make it even better. And that should be the question and the 
direction, being honest on ourself. And not listening to trolls who just 
say some banal/stupid stuff about SQLite and such, not saying 
"complicated and not worth it" when you don't even know what that thing 
could mean.

I hope that was a bit clearer.

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