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Re: Go (golang) packaging, part 2

"Lennart Sorensen" <lsorense@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> writes:

> Absolutely.  As a user I have a nice package management system that I
> know how to use and which works well.  I don't need another one.

> It is not the job of a language developer to invent yet another bloody
> package distribution and installation system.  Just because windows
> doesn't have a decent way to handle software installations doesn't mean
> other systems don't know how to do it well.

My upstream experience is that people generally use the package management
properties of things like CPAN in two main cases: when using operating
systems with deficient package management or scope of packages, or when
using old systems that can't be updated for some reason.

CPAN is hugely popular with Solaris admins, for example, because good luck
finding real Solaris packages of most of the things you care about.  Red
Hat is similar; a lot of common Perl modules are packaged, but far fewer
than are packaged for Debian, and it's common to need something that isn't
part of the base Red Hat distribution.

The problem with the general feeling that they're inferior versions of
real package management is that the above use cases mean that the
packaging components of something like CPAN aren't ever going to go away,
since upstream will continue to support users on those platforms, or users
who are on lenny and refuse to upgrade for some reason.  And since those
components exist and people get used to using them to get their jobs done
on Red Hat, they'll naturally use them on Debian as well without being
aware there are better alternatives.  Or when they're on squeeze and want
to do some sort of cutting-edge development.

Thankfully, at least with Perl, they co-exist fairly well, although people
get bitten by having outdated versions of things installed in /usr/local
from an old CPAN run that should have been, but weren't, supplanted by
better versions available through the package manager.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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