[users] Dropping the repotag

Andreas Rogge a.rogge at solvention.de
Sat Mar 17 15:27:56 CET 2007


> > You can always get the information you want out of the package database:
> > $ rpm -q --qf %{NAME}\\t%{VENDOR}\\t%{DISTRIBUTION}\\n rpmforge-release
> 
> I am a user, not a packager. the above is gibberish to me, and I hope it 
> can remain so.
> I like to see at first glance where a package comes from, and I'm happy 
> to see all my rpmforge packages with a simple
> rpm -qa | grep rf
> and refine the regex if needed
> 
> I don't want to learn more rpm syntax + tag names than I need... and I'm 
> probably not the only one

You're not meant to learn any new syntax. It would be easy to write a
set of tools to actually tell you the information you want.
The problem with your solution is the rather big chance of false
positives.
It has always been good practice in unix to provide tools that generate
output that can be used as input to another tool.

> 
> > As I already said, getting a list of all installed packages coming from
> > (for example) RPMForge is always a problem and it won't get any harder
> > if you drop the pointless repotag and instead use decent values for the
> > appropriate Tags. It will probably even become easier to gather
> > information, because the data you want is available in a structured
> > format and you don't have to find your way through the regex-hell then.
> 
> I totally disagree, see above
> structured formats are good for programs, not so much for humans (look 
> at XML)
> And most people know their way around regex-heaven better than they do 
> in rpm-tag-hell ;-)
> 

Don't you think that evaluating structured data will yield much more 
appropriate results than matching stuff in arbitrary strings? I'd rather
write a complete set of rpm query tools than rely on unsharp stuff in the
package signature.
I don't say that everybody should learn the details of RPM (of course, it
would be great if people actually knew everything about every software they
use). Today you aren't interested in "rpm -q" being more or less an alias
for "rpm -q --qf %{NAME}-%{VERSION}-%{RELEASE}\\n". What if we provide
a set of easy-to-use tools that wrap this complexity?
What if you could use for example "listrpms --vendor RPMForge" instead of 
"rpm -qa | grep rf" and get a 100% result without false-positives?

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