[lsb-discuss] [packaging] RFC: Berlin Packaging API

Robert Schweikert robert.schweikert at mathworks.com
Thu Feb 28 06:10:53 PST 2008

Reality is that there is more to the computing world than Linux. No 
matter how much we wish for Linux being the only thing that matters we 
have to live with the fact that customers expect support on Windoze, 
Solaris, Mac OS X, AIX, etc. As Scott pointed out, for ISVs cross 
platform is not equal cross distro.

While the web is becoming more dominant there are many applications that 
will continue to follow the traditional distribution model of providing 
some sort of media to their customers. Therefore, it is only logical 
that one wants an installer that basically works the same on all 
platforms with a backend that stores the binaries in a portable format 
such as zip. The packaging formats for Linux (deb and rpm) don't meet 
this requirement, thus these formats are not suitable for this purpose. 
Further as Jeff pointed out one has to be root to install packages in 
rpm or deb format. ISVs MUST have the option to let their customers 
install an application without root access.

Being able to tell the underlying system what is being installed and 
where it is being installed is a convenience for the user and/or the 
system administrator. ISVs are installing their software on Linux today 
without using deb and/or rpm and this is working OK. However, as was 
discussed in Berlin providing a way to interface with the packaging 
system is a great feature and would improve the user experience.

Jeff summarized the requirements from an ISV perspective well and as far 
as I can tell these requirements have not changed since the Berlin 
meeting. Having this API provides an opportunity for us to lower the 
entry hurdle for ISVs in letting ISVs keep their cross platform 
packaging mechanism while at the same time providing a certain level of 
integration such that ISV apps can be treated more like first class 
citizens from a package management perspective.


Dan Kegel wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 1:01 PM, Jeff Licquia <jeff at licquia.org> wrote:
>>  https://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Berlin_Packaging_API
>>  This page now contains a straw-man API proposal.  My intent is to
>>  implement this proposal for RPM and dpkg once it passes muster, and
>>  propose the API for inclusion into RPM and dpkg.
> First, I''m not sure I agree that anything like this is needed.
> Second, even if it is needed, I would have assumed that
> a commandline interface would be more appropriate.
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Robert Schweikert                       MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU
(robert.schweikert at mathworks.com)                 LINUX
The MathWorks Inc.
Phone : 508-647-2042

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