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Re: Patch to add install action to packages:

From: Phil D'Amore
Subject: Re: Patch to add install action to packages:
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 12:54:29 -0500

> Beyond the three listed above, I can think of several:
> * HP-UX software depots
> * FreeBSD packages
> * Slackware packages

Don't forget AIX, IRIX, blah blah blah.  You or anyone else that needs
them are more than welcome to write support for them.  Have fun! :)

> And this doesn't account for alternative installation programs, although 
> that may not be relevant - RPMInstall command could be set to "apt-get 
> install" for instance.
> However, I find the names "RPMInstallCommand" et al to be just ghastly. 
>   What if RPM is phased out and replaced with the new name 
> FooBarPackageMgr?  What if someone installs RPM on a SUN machine?  What 
> if someone installs RPM onto Debian and uses it?  More importantly, how 
> are you EVER going to be able to get ALL package managers represented?
> The commands ought to be package manager neutral, should they not?

The thing you need to understand here is that is this matched to the
*database* used to store the package metadata.  Every database requires
different commands to get the job of querying it done.  Just like you
said, you can install RPM on a Solaris box.  So, you might want to be
able to query both the RPM and the Solaris-native databases, maybe even
at the same time?

At the same time, if you are doing something like that, then it is
possible you may want to install some OS package from Sun in their
native format, which would have to be stored in the native solaris
package database, and at the same time be maintaining your own local
custom packages in RPM, or whatever.

It's all about the database.  If I'm looking for a package in a
particular database, and I decide to install it, then I'd better use the
install command that is aware of that database.  I'm perfectly aware
that people use apt-get and other programs to update their RPM packages,
and that is why you have the ability to select the program to use based
on the database in which you were looking for the package in the first

For you other point, if RPM was replaced with something else later on,
then it would have a new name, and a different database query method.
You can only abstract things so much before you have to deal with the
fact that all of these databases are totally different, and you had
better know which one you are selecting.  Making the names generic is
pointless because you lose the ability to select, and we start making
ASSumptions of which database to use based on useless data such as the
host OS.  They need to be distinct for the exact reason you state in
your example.

Am I missing some part of your point here?

Phil D'Amore                             "Sometimes there is a fine line
Senior System Administrator               between criminally abusive
Red Hat, Inc                              behavior and fun."
Office: 919.754.3700 x44395                 -- Ted the Generic Guy
Pager: 877.383.8795                            (Dilbert 4/19/2003)

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