suse question

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Wed Dec 14 11:50:54 MST 2005


Matthew Ross Walker wrote:
> Just to chime in late, I used to be a SUSE fan, but I left it behind
> years ago. Maybe it's improved some of it's flaws since then, but the
> problems with managing config files and RPM hell were my main to reasons
> for leaving. I love my Gentoo boxen, and as long as I don't do anything
> stupid, they love me back.

I agree, yet I can't pin down exactly why Gentoo turns out to be 
friendlier than RPM-based distros.  Intuitively, prebuilt packages 
*should* be easier, but the packaging system always seems to unravel and 
devolve into a complicated mess.

Perhaps it's because my definition of stable vs. unstable software never 
matches any distributors' definition.  I like the latest kernel, KDE, 
GIMP, Python, and games, but I prefer a more time-tested version of GTK, 
Qt, Perl, Apache, emacs, vim, PostgreSQL, and MySQL.  In fact, my 
definition of stability changes often, since when I begin a project, I 
want to depend on the software that will be stable by the end of the 
project.

Gentoo lets me make fine-grained choices about the stability of each 
package, then churns away in the background to make those choices a 
reality.  I once tried to achieve similar freedom using SRPMs and 
rpmbuild, but rpmbuild is far less automated than Portage, so SRPMs 
turned out to require a horrible amount of work.  (A full-time job, no 
doubt.)

I wonder how well Debian automates building from sources.

Shane




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