Re: netpbm vs. pbmplus
Didn't you see my example of the Slackware sysadmin who would
rather ftp /usr/bin/netpbm.tar from a Debian box rather than
recompile from source? Organized subdirectories make many things
easier, add flexibility, and make the system easier to explore.
It's asking a lot for debian packages to be organized in a way that
makes it easier to upgrade Slackware systems that don't want to use
Perhaps not for you. But I want (and sometimes I NEED) to explore
what's going on and I find using the shell tools to be
indispensable (e.g., ls | wc -l to find out how many binaries are
in the netpbm package without writing some bloody script to parse
dpkg -L output). Your convenience (not having to touch PATH),
could easily become my nightmare. It is compelling to me!
dpkg -L netpbm | grep /usr/bin | wc -l
Note that this works for all packages, not just netpbm.
I agree that this is a bit more typing than
cd /usr/bin/netpbm; ls | wc -l
but the added generality is probably a good thing.
Another example: I might decide I want all the man pages for netpbm
on my system, but I want to delete all the binaries (perhaps I have
the binaries on another system, but that system doesn't have my
favorite man page browser). rm -rf /usr/bin/netbpm solves the
problem. How would you accomplish this in one line of sh if
everything is in /usr/bin?
dpkg -L netpbm | grep /usr/bin | xargs rm -f
The advantage of my approach is long-term flexibility. The
disadvantage is a small bother for those users/admins that need
nonstandard *nix extensions like netpbm.
As near as I can see, dpkg is far more flexible at package management
than directories under /usr/bin/.