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RPM is hard to unpack


The specification at



The current "plan-of-record" is to specify RPM as the file format. It is
supported either directly, or indirectly by the widest number of
distributions, and so far, no one has pointed out any deficiencies.

There is a deficiency. It is very hard to unpack an rpm package without
having rpm installed. Users of other OS'es are forced to use
hexdump+dd+gzip+cpio or port rpm their systems, install it, initialize
database etc.

In my opinion, the requirements should be:
1) That any package can be unpacked without using a specific package
manager (even if some). It is Ok to require GNU tools for that, such as
2) That any package can be identified as belonging to a specific
distribution or as cross-disribution package without using a specific
package manager.

Pavel Roskin

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