[lsb-discuss] Packaging group

Glenn McGrath bug1 at optushome.com.au
Thu Mar 6 17:30:09 PST 2003

On 06 Mar 2003 19:06:48 +0000
Mike Hearn <mike at theoretic.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'd like to get discussion started in the next week or two there, and
> was wondering if anybody had ideas for people to get involved? Judging
> from the subscribers list, there are already people from redhat and
> ximian signed up, I think it might be worth getting someone from SuSE
> and Mandrake as well, also Debian. 
> Are there any people from those projects on this list, who are
> interested in improving the current packaging situation?

I am a debian developer, however my opinions are my own, i do not
represent the debian project in any official capacity.

> I think a suitable first goal would be to work towards improving the
> LSB RPM system, so it can tackle dependancies (a lot of work in and of
> itself).

What happened to the group that was going to investigate a new packaging
system, is that idea dead ?

I strongly believe packaging is all about metadata, i consider it to be
specialist database.

If there is every going to be compatability between different
implementations then concentrate on making the DATA compatabile, the
delivery mechanism is almost irrelevant as far as compatability goes.

By delivery mechanism, i mean the archiving techniques used, be it ar
tar, cpio, rpm's mutated cpio, gz, bz2, maybe even dar, ppm, its easy to
unpack any of these, much easier than translating the contents.

For a start.

What format should metadata be in ?

  I think rfc822 style is used by both deb's and rpm's so that should be
an easy answer.

What common fields must be specified ?

  Without knowing rpm, i could say equivalent to binary name(s), source
name, version, description. Dependencies is a hairy one.

How should non standard fields be specified, should they exist ?

What is the correct versioning scheme ?

  Last i heard rpm and deb's had some minnor difference in how they
compare versions.

Should the metadata be seperate from the package ?

  I feel a packages metadata should be available sperate from the
package and retrievable individually.

I see the archiving technique as being irrelevant as far as
compatability goes, and that defining one method as the one true
packaging archiving technique is divisive and counter productive.

No the issue is not going to just go away. 

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