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Re: Go (golang) packaging, part 2

"Lennart Sorensen" <lsorense@csclub.uwaterloo.ca> writes:
> On Fri, Feb 01, 2013 at 10:00:32AM +0000, Jon Dowland wrote:

>> As a Haskell developer, I find cabal much more convenient than nothing,
>> in the situation where the library I want is not packaged by Debian
>> yet.  If I want my haskell libraries and programs to reach a wide
>> audience, I need to learn Cabal anyway.

> If you are writing libraries to add to the language, then I don't
> consider you a normal developer using the language.

I hope that's not generally true, because that would be horribly
depressing.  I don't believe that's true of the Perl community in general.
It's certainly not true of the C or Java community!

> If you want bleeding edge, then you are not a normal user and you
> certainly aren't a system administrator that wants to keep a controlled
> system they can reproduce.

Speak for yourself.  I've been a system administrator for twenty years,
and sometimes I have to deploy bleeding-edge code in order to accomplish a
particular task.  You can do that in ways that also give you a
reproducible system.

Using Debian packages is a *means*, not an *end*.  Sometimes in these
discussions I think people lose sight of the fact that, at the end of the
day, the goal is not to construct an elegantly consistent system composed
of theoretically pure components.  That's a *preference*, but there's
something that system is supposed to be *doing*, and we will do what we
need to do in order to make the system functional.

Different solutions have different tradeoffs.  Obviously, I think Debian
packages are in a particularly sweet spot among those tradeoffs or I
wouldn't invest this much time in Debian, but they aren't perfect.  There
are still tradeoffs.  (For example, Debian packages are often useless for
research computing environments where it is absolutely mandatory that
multiple versions of any given piece of software be co-installable and

> I know dpkg --get-selections will tell me all the software installed on
> the system so I can do the same on another one.  If yet another package
> maanger gets involved I have to know about it and do something different
> to handle that.  That's not a good thing.

Indeed.  But it's a tradeoff.  One frequently does not have the luxury of
appending to this paragraph "...and therefore I will never install
anything with a different package manager."  Sometimes it's the most
expedient way of getting something done.  Sometimes people aren't as deft
with turning unpackaged software into Debian packages as you and I are.

>> In the Go case, their users are people who might have a shell/web
>> account but not admin access on a shared host somewhere, running god
>> knows what distro and version, hence having a self-contained fat binary
>> that is guaranteed to run wherever libc is meets their goals.

> That's a different goal than running a nice debian system.

Hence the point.  Not everyone has the same goals.

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

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