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Re: RFC: Rules for distro-friendly packages

* Enrico Weigelt <weigelt@metux.de> [100918 05:49]:
> * Jesús M. Navarro <jesus.navarro@undominio.net> schrieb:
> > Think of the most probable environment where somebody goes with the hassle
> > of "compiling new package into old RHEL 2".  Do you think such a chore is
> > taken out of fun?  Or is it an environment where an overworked sysadmin at
> > charge of a lot of disparaged machines is put into that need because out of
> > his reach constrains?
> The sysadmins should run the build through a dedicated build system
> which generates packages for their target(s).

A dedicated build system is always stricly inferior for a user. It needs
more efford to set it up, efford to get all the build dependencies
right, and interatively fixing the build process or the software is an
utter pain.

It is usefull for a developer (and especially a package developer) for
checking one side of package build dependencies and robustness of the
build process, but not for a user.

> BTW: if you want to build new software directly on old systems, you'll
> sooner or later run into many other kinds of problems. For example
> think of bugs in older libc's or compilers which then would have to
> worked around in newer packages. That's nasty, nobody really likes that.
> The answer is clear: use a dedidacted build system (eg. via sysroot'ed
> crosscompiler), which produces the right code/packages for that old
> systems. This way, eg. you don't have to care about broken or missing
> libc functions on the target - an properly adapted toolchain takes
> care of this.

The part about the libc I do not understand at all. How should building
the software somewhere else help with missing libc functions? If you do
everything right in the build system you will have about the same
missing functions as on the target system, if you do something wrong you
have a different versions and thus binaries that will not work there
exactly because of those missing functions.

> > You seem to forget that in the context of this discussion "arbitrary users"
> > are sysadmins on their duty.  They are perfectly expected to be recompiling
> > software on stable/production systems.  Heck, it's even there, on the FHS:
> In this case, the admins are also put into the role of package
> maintainer (of their own, 1-system distro) and QM engineer.
> They should have the neccessary skills to do that, or leave it.

Those that do not know the difference between a software package maintainer's
and a sysadmin's tasks and priorities should be neighter.
As a sysadmin, producing your local packages of a quality suitable for general
distribution will safe you from many other problems. But you can neighter
have an knowledge deep enough in all the software you have for general solutions,
nor will you have the time to do this always in the first round.

	Bernhard R. Link

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