RPM compatibility

Gabriel Gunderson gabe at gundy.org
Mon Feb 14 17:14:47 MST 2005

On Mon, 2005-02-14 at 16:37 -0700, Kenneth Burgener wrote:
> Why aren't all the dependencies packaged with the source?  This would 
> seem to be a good solution to me.  Maybe back in the day when Internet 
> connections were slow it made sense to separate things, but now with 
> high speed they could at LEAST give you an option to download a file 
> that has the dependencies included.

It doesn't make sense to.  While bandwidth is getting cheap you still
don't want 20 copies of "xorg-x11-libs" just because 20 other libs
depended on it and want to make sure it it installed.  Many commercial
apps do this to make sure they "just work" out of the box.  It can lead
to problems.  Remember a few months back when MS had a big problem with
some lib that worked with .jpg files?  It was hard to fix the problem
because the lib was found in so many places (each being used by
different apps).  If I sound a little fuzzy on the details, I am.  I
wasn't affected by it and payed little attention to it :)  In short, it
just makes things bloated and hard to maintain.

A good package manager should take the pain out of this for you.  In
your case, I'm sure yast2 will do a fine job of it.  Of course this
assumes that the RPMs are built right.  yast should only have to do the
high-level stuff like make it easy to download and install the
dependencies once it discovers what they are from the RPMs.

All I have to say is that apt-get and the others make it so easy that
this is almost a non-issue for me anymore.  On the other hand,  when I
first got started with Linux (RedHat 7.3) resolving dependencies was
almost a deal breaker for me.

2 cents,

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