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Re: Herring/dpkg (was Re: Senseless Bickering and Overpoliticization)

On Wed, 1 Sep 1999 18:12:48 -0400, Michael Stone <mstone@debian.org> wrote:
>On Tue, Aug 31, 1999 at 12:31:53PM +0100, Matthew Vernon wrote:
>> On Tue, 31 Aug 1999, Anthony Towns wrote:
>> > A bunch of other poeple have started the Herring project (and another
>> > project which does not officially exist, and shall not be named) to
>> > make sure that even if dpkg takes it last gasp and doesn't even bother
>> > writhing anymore, we've got a backup.
>> Which IMHO is a waste of effort - surely working on the dpkg bugs is a
>> better use of time rather than trying to re-write the entire thing? I
>> reject utterly that the dpkg source tree is unreadable - I'm no god
>> programmer, and I can understand it.
>Every software project reaches a point where the effort required to
>patch it is greater than the effort required to rewrite it. A clean
>design that incorporates lessons learned over time is better than an
>ad-hoc collection of patches, IMHO.

It's also necessary to manage the transition from the old solution
to the new one, which is probably going to make developing the actual
dpkg replacement look like a walk in the park.  Note that there exist
a number of serviceable "replacements" for dpkg already used by other
Linux distributions.  One could simply pick one, add to it whatever it's
missing, and have a replacement for dpkg up and running within a week.
Then how long will it take to repackage all 4k packages?  How about
retraining all of the developers?

Both viewpoints (the "fix dpkg now" viewpoint and the "throw dpkg away"
viewpoint) can be valid at the same time, during a period of transition
from where we rely on dpkg for everything to where we only use dpkg for
legacy packages, if at all.  I salute the brave members of both camps.

As far as I'm concerned, there are things you can do with all of apt-get,
console-apt, dpkg, and dselect, that you can't do with any of the others.
They don't conflict, so you can use any or all of 'em if you like.

Personally, I use console-apt on small (8MB) machines, dselect when
casually browsing packages by section or repairing a broken system that
can't run apt, dpkg when I want to remove "Recommended" packages or
uninstall single packages, apt-get for general package management, and
"less /var/lib/dpkg/{available,status}" for full-text package browsing.

I don't speak for Corel, I just work for them.  Use zygob@corel.ca for work, 
zblaxell@furryterror.org for play, and zblaxell@feedme.hungrycats.org for PGP.
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PGP public key:  http://www.hungrycats.org/~zblaxell/pgp-public.txt

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