Re: Random thoughts on this elections (was Re: Candidacy (Michael Meeks))

On Sun, Oct 15, 2000 at 12:34:40AM +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
> <Linux specific hat on for the moment>
> Not needed. The Linux Standard Base defines the proposed standard file format
> based on RPMv3 (at the moment). They don't define any installer, they don't 
> define any updater, they don't define any specific tool
> Why ? Because they are people who understand what a standard is about and
> what is bad standardisation. Standardising an installer makes no sense. Its one
> thing everyone will do their own way. You think Slackware or Debian will change
> to a different installer, you think distributions will choose to use a special
> installer only for gnome code.
> A good standards body sets minimal standards, you define the data format or
> the protocol you NEVER NEVER define the implementation. 
> So the LSB says 'the file looks like this', it doesn't care if you alien it and use deb tools on it, it doesnt care if you use rpm, or if you write your own 
> tool for the job. It doesnt care if it came over the net by Helix Update or
> you bought it on a CD in a shop. It doesnt have to.

I'll agree with Alan's point while strongly disagreeing with his
chosen example.  I think it's a horrible mistake that the LSB has
taken it upon itself to define the standard package format.  The
package format defines so much more than the "format" that the data is
in.  Packaging includes declaring interrelationships between packages,
including associated scripts which can use distribution-specific
mechanisms to complete the install, etc.

The suggestion that Debian users will be happy using alien on an RPM
is ludicrous.

So, even on this base level issue, there's an incredibly wide variety
of opinions.  For the board to attempt to specify any kind of unneeded
"standards" would be suicide.

Ian Peters
itp helixcode com

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