Re: package managers [was: FatELF patches...]

From: Martin Nybo Andersen
Date: Wed Nov 04 2009 - 12:55:31 EST

On Wednesday 04 November 2009 18:25:07 Mikulas Patocka wrote:
> On Wed, 4 Nov 2009, Alan Cox wrote:
> > > - With Linux package managers, the user is stuck with the software and
> > > version shipped by the distribution. If he wants to install anything
> > > newer or older, it turns into black magic and the typical desktop
> > > user (non-hacker) can't do it.
> >
> > In the rpm/yumworld that would be "yum downgrade" and "yum upgrade" for
> > packages or whatever button on whatever gui wrapper you happen to have.
> And what if there isn't a package? Upgrade option doesn't solve the need
> for [ distributions X software ] matrix of packages.
> > And of course yum supports third party repositories so you can also deal
> > with the updating problem which Windows tends not to do well for third
> > party software.
> A practical example --- when I wanted to get Wine on RHEL 5, all I found
> was a package for 1.0.1. Nothing newer.
> I managed to compile the current version of Wine (it wasn't straghtforward
> and took few days to solve all the problems) and it ran the program I
> wanted. But I can imagine that a typical business user or home gamer will
> just say "that Linux sux".
> You can say that I should delete RHEL-5 and install Fedora, but that is
> just that "upgrade one program" => "upgrade all programs" problem.

Have you ever tried upgrading Windows because some program is incompatible
with the current installation? ... That is indeed an 'upgrade all' procedure
... _If_ you're lucky enough to be able to reinstall your software.

Being able to upgrade at least Debian -- and others as well -- without the
need to attend the computer is IMHO one of Linux' biggest wins.

BTW: Wine has, like many others, the newest version of their software
prepackaged for RHEL 4 & 5 among others at their site:

If all else fail the developers could go for statically compiled binaries in
an executable tarball, which then handles the installation to /usr/local


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