Research on decentralized package management

Bdale Garbee bdale at
Wed Mar 10 04:33:38 GMT 2010

On Tue, 9 Mar 2010 19:40:05 -0600, Katherine Cox <cox.katherine.e at> wrote:
>    4. Foo resolves dependancies and installs the software.
> I am intentionally being vague with step 4. Rather than biasing everyone
> with my ideas, I'd like to first see if people even think this usage case is
> a *good* idea and if so, see if anyone had ideas on how to implement
> it? What does the everyone think?

Ok, I'll bite.

There are a range of opinions about how important it is to understand
explicitly where the software running on your system came from, who is
going to support it when something doesn't work as expected, and who
should be responsible for keeping track of that.  I would suggest that
you think hard about this and understand what subset of the potential
users of Linux would consider this sort of decentralized approach a
feature, and then build out from there.  

From a technical standpoint, the challenge you face is precisely in
turning step 4 from something vague into specific details of a proposed
implementation.  For this to work the way you imply, I think you will at
least need to regularize the way dependencies are expressed, comprehend
the rich set of sources from which dependencies might come, get *everyone*
to agree on a common meta-data standard... and then you need to
completely re-factor the way people think about and approach getting
support for their software.   

I suspect that as you learn more about the LSB and the challenges it has
faced, you'll come to understand that solving every challenge it ever
aspired to overcome is but the first step in the technical side of this
particular journey...  Perhaps not insurmountable, but an *intense*

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