Fwd: Re: Moving on

Simon Perreault nomis80 at videotron.ca
Sat Jun 16 09:06:23 PDT 2001

----------  Forwarded Message  ----------
Subject: Re: Moving on
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 09:20:35 -0400
From: Gerard Beekmans <gerard at linuxfromscratch.org>
To: Simon Perreault <nomis80 at videotron.ca>

> Sorry, but I'm still skeptical. Before embarking on a project, we must know
> why we want to do it (and no, the coolness factor, while attractive, won't
> do it). So my question remains: what does XML give us over RPM?

http://www.garshol.priv.no/download/text/fin-sgml-98.html - it has a
few interesting ideas.

Anyways, what gives RPM and XML doens't give you. I'm afraid I can't
answer this without repeating myself. Personally I think one big
advantage XML gives is being neutral. Also keep in mind one of the ideas we
had a long time ago (which may not be viable but I like to keep the
option open) is that you should be able to just run the alfs app
(whatever form it may take (xml or not)) on any system, not just (A)LFS
systems or new-systems-to-be. I should be able to give the app and say a
KDE profile to somebody who runs Redhat and it should install it.
Because Redhat uses RPM, the alfs app will create the necessary entries
in the rpm database on his system so he can manage the files, etc.

But what if the person I give the profile to uses debian? That alfs app
should still install KDE according to the kde-profile, but in this case
work with the dpkg database. Then again, rpm may be able to write to a
dpkg database rather than an rpm database and perhaps rpm can read a dpkg
database and manipulate it just like it would do with an rpm database.
Again, I don't know that much about RPM so I'm probably not the right
person to answer these questions anyways.

Something I haven't been able to find in the rpm docs: can you source
some kind of master rpm spec into every spec file?

For example I wouldn't want to write every spec file for chapter 5 like

./configure --prefix=/usr
make LDFLAGS=-static

then next package
./configure --prefix=/usr
make LDFLAGS=-static

next pakcage
./configure --prefix=/usr
make LDFLAGS=-static

I rather would write something like this:

In XML I could do something:
<configure />
<build_static />

It's not done like this now, but we could agree with the DTD that if
<configure> has no options, default to running "./configure
--prefix=/usr" which is used for almost every single LFS package.

<build_static /> could be the generic instructions we have in chapter 5
"make LDFLAGS=-static"

If we ever have to change this, we don't have to edit all spec files to
make the same update. Or sure sed your way through it. But it's not
clean if you ask me.

These are all my arguments for now. They're pretty weak so I won't be
suprised if you just completely bash this again. I will wait for you to
have read the entire ALFS archives before trying to talk about this
again. I don't feel like having to dig through the archives myself right
now to copy&paste things to you. Let's talk about after you have caught
up. If everybody else has the same question why xml over rpm, we can
discuss it and possible start from scratch with the "what do we use"
discussion. There's no point having it now.

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-


Simon Perreault -- Public key: http://nomis80.linuxfromscratch.org/nomis80.gpg
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