[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Cross-distro binary compatibilty

David Wood wrote:
> On Wed, 6 Jul 2005, Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> >Go to snapshot.debian.net and fish out the right library versions
> >suse/rh uses, install them, install the same packages (inetd/xinetd)
> >suse/rh uses and voila. Compatibility.
> Even if libraries were the only issue, aren't there times when the right 
> version (or lib altogether) isn't packaged? And what about the effects of 
> "distro-proprietary" patches to important things (we've seen it all, from 
> major tweaks to gcc, to important paths changing)?

Yes, and yes.  Most of the time I can find the right libraries.  But
sometimes I have to get the actual other-distro library for some
compatibility problem.  As far as distro specific patches one of the
worst in my experience was RH glibc-2.2.4 which had patches that
required glibc-2.3.1 in Debian before programs needing it were
completely happy.

> In any case the user must figure out whatever dependency is broken, figure 
> out what satisfies it, go to snapshot.debian.net... etc. It is 
> time-consuming and impractical. Most users are excluded.

In an non-software engineering lab of about 400 people there are about
three of us there that routinely do this task.  The others think it is
too hard, won't try or give up, and ask to be converted to some other
distro in order to run the app they want.  That is a fairly high tech
community and I would expect more people would be able to do this
chasing down of dependencies.  But apparently not.

> >If you don't do that you can also claim that SuSe isn't SuSe
> >compatible as you can have exactly the same version/package skews
> >within one distro.
> You're right of course - even within a distro, binary compatibility isn't 
> really that great.

Even the ones that pick rpm don't have a coherent policy document.
This hampers compatibility considerably.

> So here we have the schizophrenia of our community with relation to binary 
> distribution. On the one hand we sometimes casually claim that it works, 
> and we sometimes expect it to work. When the rubber hits the road it 
> becomes obvious that it's both ugly and impractical for users/developers. 
> Then the story switches to others saying that we are an FS/OS community, 
> and asking "what are you doing distributing binaries anyway?" Later you 
> hear that we're really only geared towards source distribution (for 
> distro-independent developers).



Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: