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* Jeffrey Watts <watts@jayhawks.net> wrote:
> On 16 Mar 2000, Jochem Huhmann wrote:
> > RPM has no way to tell between "system software" and "totally
> > unimportant stuff". A package is a package is a package. That's the
> > problem. And RPMs can support relocatable packages only in so far as
> > the software it carries; if this software has hardcoded paths in it,
> > this is meaningless. This won't change to soon, so either one has to
> > accept this /usr-bloat or has to specify where things should go to. If
> > you say "hey, you can decide yourself, it's relocatable" you don't
> > need standards at all.
> In no way should the package manager be deciding where to install
> software.  That's what the distributors are for.  A package manager should
> be reading the destination from the command line if it is present, or from
> the locations specified in the package.

Yes/no/maybe/. RPM still has no way to tell if a package is part of a
base system or not. The LSB should specify what has to be part of the
system ("Linux Standard Base"). If distributors decide where to install
software *and* RPM doesn't make a difference between "system" and
"software", all this LSB is useless. Either we need a package-manager
that has a way to tag system-software (and require this package-manager)
or we have to specify in which directories the system is and where the
software is.

> We don't want a smart package manager.  The distributions wouldn't use it,
> and it would piss off sysadmins like me that want real control.

What you do on your systems is out of the scope of LSB. Say, is "find"
part of the "base OS" or not? Is "wget" part of the system or not? Both
are in /usr/bin, so you can't tell by location. Ask RPM. RPM doesn't
tell you this either. Neither a distributor nor a package-manager should
decide where software installs. LSB should decide this (for the "base
OS"). IMHO 90% of the distribution-packages (which are "software", not
"base OS") actually have to go to /opt. The package-manager used for
this additional software shouldn't care LSB, because additional software
is not in the scope for LSB. The base-system is.

If LSB tries to describe a complete system, it will (has to) be such
vague and complex, that it will never be ready and useful. Not in ten
years. It has to describe a minimal base system and this still requires
hard work and lots of good will to agree on. Miss this point and LSB be
continue to be as meaningless as in the last years.

Actually the LSB-specification should be exact enough to print it out,
go and download sources and build with the LSB-specs as reference a
fine, working base system, on which you can then start to install
packages from some distribution. LSB should specify a base-system for
Linux-distributions that is used by distributors because it is a fine
base system, not just because it is a "standard". Standards are
meaningless, if they don't work and you have to do wild interpretations
to get them to work.


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