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Re: LSB and package formats

Marcus Brinkmann <Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de> wrote:
> > Then again, we can't even get simple bugs fixed in dpkg...
> Is it lack of time of the core developers or a technical problem?


The design for dpkg is the implementation of dpkg.  This makes it
hard to change.  Take a look at the bug-tracking system for some

Dpkg's implementation is:

	(*) A database implementation
	(*) A system administration application
	(*) A complex command-line parser
	(*) A complex state machine
	(*) A package manipulation tool.

If these were implemented as separate pieces of software, that would
be one thing, but it's all wrapped together in a fashion that requires
intimate understanding of the whole before making any changes.  And,
of course, any mistakes could damage the integrity of someone's system.
[Aside: the package manipulation tool is a separate piece of software.]

> And if dpkg is so hard to maintain (and I'm one of the few people who
> actually did take a look at the sources), wouldn't it be a good idea
> to just rewrite the damn thing? After all, it *could* probably save
> time and energy.

Possibly.  But that's not a trivial task.  Just analyzing the current
system to extract a reasonable design is a daunting task.  [Then again,
there's a fair bit of relevant information in the packaging and
policy manuals.]

> Maybe apt is already part of such a fictive reimplementation.

The apt folks have come up with some very clear documentation on some
aspects of dpkg.  But they don't address the tangle of functionality
and implementation techniques represented in the current system.


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