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Re: The project

On Tue, 20 Jul 1999, Hamish Moffatt wrote:

# For the benefit on non-Debian folks: dpkg just knows how to install,
# manipulate, and remove .deb packages. It doesn't know how to download them,
# and it isn't very intelligent about installing them in the correct order.
# There's a front-end gui called dselect (a subset of sysinstall perhaps)
# which has plugins (called methods) for obtaining .deb files -- from FTP
# sites, HTTP sites, CD-ROM, local disk, NFS etc.

FreeBSD has a library called libfetch that basically takes a URI and
returns a file.  sysinstall(1) uses it and so does a program called

It is amazing that as I hear more about what Debian has done that it
sounds very familiar.  FreeBSD has addressed all the same issues and
the only thing it really lacks is having a package manager that
handles package versioning.  That is, how does one cleanly and
painlessly upgrade from KDE-1.0 to KDE-1.1 (or Gnome).

An example of some of the similarities because someone said that
what we both provide are fundmentally different and IMHO they so similar
that you could almost plug and play the parts if the package format
was the same. :)

	dpkg, apt	pkg_{add,create,delete,info}
	plugins		libfetch
	dselect		sysinstall

The only place where there is a noticeable difference is FreeBSD
has the ports collection which does nearly all the things that you
are discussing right now.  It handles source builds, dependencies
between them, transparent retrieval of distfiles, ...  All you need
is the port's skeleton (a Makefile and a handful of others) and
you are a 'make install' away from building a port from source.

Lest I forget, Mike Smith wrote a program called pib that handles the
whole process graphically including managing distfiles on the user's
box.  It is pretty rough and written in Tcl/Tk, but has been a godsend
for cleaning out crufty distfiles on my package building machines.


# apt is a new command-line tool which also has plugin methods. It knows
# how to obtain packages by HTTP, FTP etc and how to install them in the
# correct order. It calls dpkg to do the actual work. Eventually, there will
# be a GUI front-end to apt, to replace dselect.
# (To confuse the issue further, apt can be used as a method (plug-in)
# to dselect).
# Hamish
# -- 
# Hamish Moffatt VK3SB (ex-VK3TYD). 
# CCs of replies from mailing lists are welcome.

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