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Re: non-dpkg packaging systems (was: Re: `pms' from BOGUS (Debian vs.

> It sounds like using something like RPM to build our packages might be a good
> idea.

It really is major time saver for the package developer.  And being
able to rebuild all the packages with a single command is pretty

> I think the Debian binary package format is ahead of what Redhat is 
> using,
> and you should consider adopting it. Perhaps we can arrive at a merge of the
> two.

I'd certainly be interested in talking about a merger (or at least
some sort of cross-compatibility) of the formats.  I think you are
right, the debian binary package format (or perhaps more accurately,
the debian database features) offer some advantages over rpms, mostly
in the areas of conflicts, dependencies, and configuration.  I haven't
looked at dpkg in a long time so I may not be correct here.

The rpm binary format has a few other cool things, like optional icons
in the header (for use in our graphical package manager: glint).  The
header is tacked on to the head of the package uncompressed, which
allows for very fast querying.

Another interesting feature is that packages (most often "subpackages"
can "share" files - as long as the MD5 sums are the same in both
packages (which they usually are if they are sibling subpackages).
Installation and uninstallation of packages sharing a file does what
you would want it to.

rpm is all written in perl5 so it should be pretty accessible.  We've
found that perl gives us decent speed, although the startup time is
longer than we'd like.

Is there a current document somewhere that describes the debian
package format and all the tricks it can do?


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