Fwd: Re: Moving on

Simon Perreault nomis80 at videotron.ca
Sat Jun 16 09:26:29 PDT 2001

On Saturday 16 June 2001 12:06, Simon Perreault wrote:
> 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.

Ah, this would be cool. Using ALFS as a kind of master ultra-compatible 
package management system, from source to be even more compatible. I like. 
But the RPM format can do this too, albeit not as conveniently. You have me 
convinced on this one, let's just hope that ALFS will be this and not a mere 

> 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?

There are macros and scripts that could help you, but no, you can't create 
custom ones. This is another advantage of XML.

> 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.

Very cool.

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

Per-profile defaults, I like, I like!

> 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.

Totally agreed.

> These are all my arguments for now. They're pretty weak so I won't be
> suprised if you just completely bash this again.

Weak? You gave me hard examples of how XML would be better suited than RPM 
for the task at hand, and you convinced me. I was asking for this all along, 
waiting for an answer. Only because no answer was given did I seem to bash it 
all. Sorry.

> 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.

You have me convinced, but you have defined a goal of ALFS: be an 
ultra-compatible package management that would work with existing package 
management systems and which would install from source. Does anybody else 
agree with this goal?

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