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Re: Experiment: Neophyte versus Windows XP & Debian Woody

On Thu, Nov 20, 2003 at 01:36:56PM -0500, David Z Maze wrote:
> Paul E Condon <pecondon@peakpeak.com> writes:
> > On Wed, Nov 19, 2003 at 10:24:57PM -0500, M. Kirchhoff wrote:
> >> Two months later, I--like so many others before me--came crawling back
> >> to Debian, my hands weary from long hours spent fighting RPM dependency
> >                                                            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >> hell, instability, package conflicts, and a general lack of consistency.
> >   ^^^^
> >
> > I left RH long ago, when I was far less knowledgable. I was more
> > successful at install than you, but never felt I had any chance of
> > gaining control of my computer within the RH environment. I have no
> > desire to go back.  So, out of curiosity, what is RPM dependency hell?
> > I'm not interested enough to find out for myself. It sort of sounds like
> > 'what does it feel like to hit your thumb really hard with a hammer?'
> > i.e. the sort of question for which direct personal knowledge is best
> > avoided. So, what is it? 
> Try this for an experiment: pick a package.  The 'openbox' window
> manager is probably a good pick.  Find it on your favorite Debian
> mirror; take, for example,
> ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/main/o/openbox/.  Hmm, lots of files
> there.  Bet you want the newest one.  So download
> openbox_3.0-1_i386.deb, and try installing it with 'dpkg --install'.
> Uh-oh, you're missing lots of dependencies.  So return to the FTP site
> and try to download and install those.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  The
> experience with Red Hat is fundamentally the same, except you're using
> rpm instead of dpkg, rufus.w3.org is hosed into the ground, and for
> any package there are six subtly different versions built for every
> Linux distribution but your own.
> Debian has always dealt better with this particular case; if you
> installed something in dselect, even before there was APT, you'd get
> all of the dependencies.  It now also happens to be easy to do this
> from the command line ('aptitude install openbox').

Could this happen to .deb packaging? Suppose people started producing .deb
packages that were specifically designed for use with Knoppix, or Libranet,
or whatever? It seems that .rpm in and of itself is not the problem. 

Also, I wonder why the RH powers never tried to copy dselect, apt-get,
etc. Surely, they were aware of their existence.

Paul E Condon           

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