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Debian's pace & dependency resolution (was Re: [wlug] default distro)

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Craig Box craig@d...
Mon Apr 25 17:41:33 NZST 2005

> You mean the glacial pace of the release of stable.  I do agree that the
> next stable release is long over due, every 12-18 months would be great.
> Hopefully the newly appointed DPL makes a difference.

As an aside, some people have suggested that Debian stay how it is,
never release, and let people like Ubuntu, UserLinux, Progeny, Libranet,
Lindows etc do the releasing for them.  Being that UserLinux is waiting
for sarge to go stable, they don't seem like the best candidate, but if
Debian were to remain a big meta distribution and let other people
package and polish for different purposes it could eliminate some of the
current criticism of the rift between Ubuntu and Debian.

I don't think a world with no Debian releases would do anyone any good
though.  I like the idea of a 12-18 month release cycle, similar to
RHEL, and keeping Ubuntu at 6 months.  The problem with GNOME's 6 month
releases is that at the moment, each year has ~6 months of development
time and ~6 months of freeze.  Having the development outside of Ubuntu
(in Debian Sid) neatly addresses that.  People can break it however they
want, and Canonical will tidy it up at freeze time for packaging.

> I'm not, the distro's core package management should take care of this.
> Debian and Gentoo both do (though I'm not a fan of waiting for things
> to compile).

Debian's core package manager is dpkg.  It does not do any more
dependency resolution than rpm does.

Since RH7-ish, Red Hat has had 'up2date', a wrapper around rpm in a
similar vein to apt-get being a wrapper around dpkg.  yum came from
Yellow Dog Linux, a PPC fork of Red Hat, and when it became better/more
popular and RH made RHN a paying customers only thing, yum was imported
into Fedora and up2date does its updates off yum servers.

We had huge problems with FC1 at last years installfest, in that yum
downloaded a single .hdr file for each package in the respository.
While very small, each file was overhead and the process was tedious.
yum 2.2 addresses this by having a single packages archive file which
you download, similar to Debian's Packages.gz file.

(I know entirely too much about Debian repositories this weekend.)


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