[lsb-discuss] LSB Package API

Jeff Licquia jeff at licquia.org
Mon Jun 23 13:43:27 PDT 2008

[Commenting on this thread is a disaster; different people strip off 
different mailing lists, and parts of the conversation are happening 
everywhere.  Can we all agree, at least, to keep the packaging list in 

Richard Hughes wrote:
> Being blunt, no distro is going to support a LSB package API.

In 2006, representatives from Red Hat, SuSE/Novell, Debian, and Ubuntu 
committed in principle to doing just such an API once it was done.

Of course, that's not a guarantee, but it holds a little more weight, I 
think, than the above quote.

At that 2006 meeting (December, in Berlin, thus the "Berlin API" name), 
these representatives from the distros were told by numerous ISVs why 
distro package systems were not acceptable.  The Berlin API was a 
compromise; the idea was that third-party software installers and 
package managers would be able to communicate and cooperate.

Part of the issue may be that most of the implementations so far have 
assumed that communication from a third-party installer would result in 
a pseudo-package being registered in the native package database, which 
leads people to believe that this is a "new package format" of some 
kind.  The original idea, though, was for a communication protocol only. 
  The native package manager may decide to store the results by creating 
a pseudo-package, but does not *have* to.

I think we're willing to accept that the particular implementations of 
the Berlin API idea are wrong-headed, and perhaps re-do them.  But the 
general idea--accepting that things such as InstallShield and 
InstallAnywhere are going to exist, and finding a way for them to 
cooperate with the underlying system instead of fighting with it--isn't 
something I see anyone else trying to address.

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