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dpkg-rpm (was: status of Progeny projects)

Adam Heath wrote in a previous message:
> Actually, if you want to do something even more useful, a dpkg-rpm
> would be just peachy.
> dpkg-rpm would read .rpm, and would output a tarfile, like dpkg-deb
> reads .deb and outputs a tarfile.

You mean like this?

  trap 'rm -rf $TMPDIR' 0
  TMPDIR=$(mktemp -d -t rpm2tar.XXXXXXXXXX) || exit 1
  rpm2cpio "$1" | (cd $TMPDIR && cpio -idm)
  (cd $TMPDIR && tar cf - .)

I fail to see why this command would be very useful.  One can work
with the cpio format as easily as one can work with the tar format.

Adam Heath wrote:
> Bernd Eckenfels wrote:
> > My statement that you can use rpm was for extracting the tar, not
> > installing the packages with it.
> >
> > So your expect dpkg-rpm not only to extract the tar, as you have written,
> > but also to execute the control scripts, do the registry and so on? I fail
> > to see that alien is that far, so I wonder how a build in method would work
> > better.

I am in complete agreement with the spirit of what you say.  But I see
that alien has quite a bit of capability in the script area.

The problem is that generic install scripts can be so varied and there
are so many ways for them to be incorrect.  It can be a chore for a
skilled developer to rewrite badly written scripts.  It is too much to
ask a program to do it automatically in all cases.

> Just like you can't nescessarily run any random rpm thru alien, and
> expect the deb to work, neither could you with this.

Any random rpm that you were to pass through your proposed dpkg-rpm
would also fail in this case for the same reasons.  I fail to see any
difference between alien's ability to convert packages and a native
dpkg install method.

Certainly a compiled native method might be faster.  And at some point
in the future when package standardization is truly mature and stable
such an implementation might make sense.  But in the meantime I don't
hear people complaining about the speed.  Only about the lack of
standard packages.  Too many packages make very distro specific
assumptions and would not pass a peer review even on their native

> But those rpms that follow a cross-distribution standard should be
> installable by dpkg-rpm.

Yes.  But those same rpms that follow "a cross-distribution standard"
would also be installable by alien too.  So that argument is not valid.


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