[packagers] What's up with RPMforge?
mok at bioxray.dk
Tue Feb 27 13:27:14 CET 2007
Excuse me for raising this question here, but I am getting more and more
of an impression that RPMforge is stagnating, and I find that extremely
worrisome. The lack of traffic on this, the packagers list, the
never-updated website, and the absence of the primary driving forces
(Dag, Dries, Matthias) on various forums all appear to be signs that
things are not developing as we all wish for.
If this is indeed the case, and if the primary forces of RPMforge are
getting bogged down with work, why not have a discussion here on this
forum of what can be done about it? I am sure there are several readers
who would like to help out with various chores, and lots of people,
myself included, have many packages that could be maintained within the
RPMforge framework. I believe that was part of the initial vision as
well. We all have lots of things to do, I find myself tied up with other
chores for months at a time, but once in a while I have some spare time
that I would like to spend giving back to the Linux community.
I recently installed Ubuntu on a spare workstation. It was a big
pleasure, the distro works very nicely and is beautifully designed. You
download a CD, and when the machine is up, you can install whatever you
want via apt-get. And particularly, everything is available from a
single repository. You don't need to fish around in a dozen of
more-or-less incompatible repos for the stuff you need. And perhaps even
breaking software in the process, as many of the repos seem to favour
packaging the same software slightly diffently and with inconsistent
dependency schemes. So even if I don't have the slightest sympathy for
ESR's pathetic whining last week (everybody else knows that you have to
pick your repos with care) it does raise a point.
I am _not_ considering a switch to Ubuntu. Those of you who have tried
to author .deb packages know that it is an extremely tedious and
complicated process, compared to authoring an RPM package. Ironically,
the easy of creating an RPM package has resulted in the proliferation of
RPM 2nd and 3rd party distributions to the extent that they are no
longer compatible. Recall the fftw/fftw3 debate.
RPMforge has long been my hope for the way out of this mess. However,
RPMforge has IMHO been hampered by the need to support several different
distributions. In particular, Fedora is a moving target, and a lot of
effort goes into the cerimonial semi-annual recompilation of all the
packages. Perhaps this would be a good time to direct RPMforge towards a
single, stable, and well maintained mother distribution, as for example
CentOS (RHEL). There are other advantages to dropping Fedora support,
but I don't think we should get deep into that discussion at this point.
To ensure a uniform packaging and dependency policy, I would suggest
keeping one eye on the Debian distributions. They have already worked
out a a naming dependency scheme that _works_.
Morten Kjeldgaard, Asc. professor, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University
Gustav Wieds Vej 10 C, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Lab +45 89425026 * Mobile +45 51860147 * Fax +45 86123178
Home +45 86188180 * http://www.bioxray.dk/~mok
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