lproven at gmail.com
Tue Oct 1 22:33:45 UTC 2013
On 1 October 2013 18:47, Christofer C. Bell <christofer.c.bell at gmail.com> wrote:
> While I understand your point, I think it's important to note that rpm never
> was inferior to Debian's system (in fact, it's arguably superior). But
> that's because comparing rpm and apt is where the breakdown is. The rpm
> utility was never analogous to apt but to dpkg. Both rpm and dpkg are low
> level utilities that operate on individual packages and do not do dependency
> checking beyond "is the dependency already installed or is it indicated on
> my command line?"
No, that's not the point. The point is that when the distros were
gaining their market shares and so on, *rpm was all you got on all the
RPM-based distros*. There *was* no meta-package-manager on top of it.
Whereas APT has been part of Debian since v2.1 in 1998, long before
Linux was a viable desktop OS for most people - and a whole /year/
after RPM came out.
Red Hat thought that this rudimentary tool was enough. It was all you got.
Debian and APT eventually shamed the other distros into sorting this
horrible unacceptable problem, and typically, they've all solved it in
different ways. Yellow Dog developed YUM and Red Hat adopted it.
SUSE didn't spin its (IME poor) dependency-resolution out of YAST into
a standalone tool until 2006.
URPMI - the Mandriva tool - hit v1.0 in 2000.
And of course now RPM itself has forked, with some distros on v4.0 --
http://rpm.org/ -- and some on v5.0: http://rpm5.org/ .
It's a mess.
> The correct utility to compare apt to is yum and/or zypper. The reputation
> of rpm suffers due to the relatively late widespread adoption of yum (and
> SUSE's zypper). Debian and Debian-derived systems would have suffered the
> same issues as rpm based systems back in the day if the administrators were
> restricted to using only dpkg for package management.
The point is, they were not. APT is a mature, 15YO tool used in dozens
RPM (in its various forks) is incomplete without a layer on top of it
- a layer which is squabbled over by the various distros which use it,
so that there are at least 4 main contenders: YUM, Zypper, URPMI and
It is, as I said, a mess, a shambles, a pathetic disgrace.
This is an absolutely core system function. If these vendors were
serious and credible, they would stop squabbling like spoiled
children, sit down and agree a repository format, add the relevant
functionality to RPM itself or to an agreed meta-package-manager, and
share their effort instead of pointlessly trying - and failing - to
outdo one another.
Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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