Apt repository interoperability

Stephan Hermann sh at sourcecode.de
Mon Apr 28 07:28:17 BST 2008


On Sat, 26 Apr 2008 10:39:01 +0800
Onno Benschop <onno at itmaze.com.au> wrote:

> On 25/04/08 18:44, Stephan Hermann wrote:
> > Actually, I see it as social problem in general not having a clue
> > about something in some situations...and social problems are not
> > solvable with technical implementations
> As this goes, it should not come as a surprise that this is related to
> education.
> As developers we have a responsibility to comment when yet another
> blog, email or im makes a statement that advocates unsafe practices,
> such as installing .deb files from any old source, or installing .tgz
> packages and being told to answer "yes" when the question is asked:
> "Do you want to overwrite xyz existing file?"

Honestly, how many times, we wrote about that behaviour and how bad
this could be for users?
1, 10, 100, 1000 times or more?

I remember our Automatix thread, and the old in-official backports
discussion, bevore backports for ubuntu became official...

All those warnings didn't help us. People are not listening.

But I agree here, people need to learn even if it's painful. (A german
saying: "lernen durch schmerz")

> The biggest challenge is that both in Ubuntu and Debian the package
> system is there to make it possible for a system to be maintainable,
> but no such concept exists in the Windows world, thus users who come
> from that environment think that they are just installing another
> application using an installer. There is no concept of dependencies
> or file ownership.

Well, you see the same problem on RPM based distros. Intermixing
between redhat, fedora, opensuse and SLES packages. It's a nightmare.
You can't prevent that from happening on private maintained computers.
In Business Environments is different. The Internal Systems Admins do
have the power to stop users from being dumb and stupid.
But even with big red letter dialogboxes, blinking, making bad sounds,
I don't think people will not install packages which are not supposed
to work on their OS.

> You can only guide a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

Well, and when the horse is not drinking the water, the only way left
is to shoot the horse in its head to stop it from suffering.

Sounds hard, but I don't believe that people aka users, especially in
Computer Business, are able to understand and learn. I agree, that we
should find away to stop people from hurting themselves, but I do
believe, that people needs pain to learn. Despite the windows users,
who are living always in pain and don't want to learn.


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