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> After reading a message on -devel-announce, it's obvious that I have
> to take more seriously a rumour that I heard: namely, that a bunch of
> C++ weenies wanted to rewrite dpkg. There are a number of things
> I'd like to say, in no particular order.
> * I don't think that most of dpkg needs to be rewritten.
It has fallen way behind other package managers in terms of functionality
and innovativeness. Despite what you may think, addional features do
not equate to unreliability if appropriate quality control is in place.
> * I am actively working on dpkg.
> * I shall be releasing a new maintainer-upload of dpkg into unstable
> Real Soon Now (tm).
That has been heard before.
> * One of the main reasons that dpkg is unapproachable by poor to
> mediocre programmers is that it must performs a complex task with a
> very high level of reliability .
Insulting people doesn't help matters.
> * I am distinctly doubtful that the core functions of dpkg are likely
> to be rewritten competently in the near future.
> * A number of competent people seem to have little difficulty working
> on dpkg.
And? Apart from bugfixes?
> - Programmatic API for UI developers.
>  Please do take offence if you're one of those people who think
> that C++ and object-orientation are the right solution to nearly every
> serious programming problem, or if you find most of the dpkg source
> code difficult to understand. Otherwise this insult is not directed
> at you.
I'm not someone of the opinion that object orientation solves all world
problems. It has its place, namely for things like GUIs. Thats no
reason to be condescending and superior. "Its my way" doesn't excuse this.
>  The kind of reliability that it is required is that dpkg does not
> break systems. Incorrect error messages, crashes, etc. are of course
> not good either and dpkg shouldn't have them, but not breaking
> systems, even (especially!) under error conditions, is very important.
I agree fully with this. I just think it a good idea that the source
of dpkg should be more approachable for people with good ideas.
Implementation of new functionality shouldn't require hours in
Deep Hack Mode. As it stands, I don't consider dpkg to be easily
Note: Please cc me on any replies, I'm not subscribed to -dpkg
Leon J. Breedt | ljb @ debian.org
Debian Developer | http://isildur.debian.net
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