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/opt/ again (was Re: FreeBSD-like approach for Debian? [was: ...])

On Tue, Sep 14, 1999 at 08:55:02AM -0700, Daryl Williams wrote:
> now one of the things i have always disliked about the linux
> distros is the tendency to install *everything* as if it where part
> of the base operating system.

Actually, the package installer will install packages anywhere.

However, we have policies on how to integrate with the rest of the
system and packages which follow those policies are installed in an
integrated fashion.

And, as it happens, we don't distribute packages which don't follow
our packages.

> i believe that installing optional packages under a well defined
> and seperate file system (whether it be /usr/local or /opt)
> offers significant advantages, especially if those packages are
> installed as self-sufficient entities, that is under one main
> directory, with (if necessary) symlinks to the package from the
> more traditional directories, i.e. a link from /usr/bin/foo to
> /usr/local/foo,v1.0/bin/foo.

We support this, in principle. However, for it to work we need to
convince third party distrib to package their software to run in /opt/.
[And note that it doesn't really matter whether they're packaging for red
hat or debian or whoever -- alien makes that something of a non-issue.]

So this is more a linux community in general issue than a debian
specific issue.

At least, that's how I see it.

Put another way, almost everything in debian is optional to some degree --
and a lot of the work we do goes into making sure that debian continues
to work no matter which option you take.  It would be good to have a
nice clean file system interface for 3rd party software, but that issue
(obviously) goes way beyond debian.


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