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Guix: A New Package Manager & GNU Distribution

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  • #16
    Did you just compare package managers with countries?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
      Standards are just fine when they can compete freely with other standards, but RPM and DEB don't compete because they are proprietary and locked to the package managers that support them and only them and AREN'T designed to be anything more than that. They aren't designed to be cross-platform and cross-distro, they are designed to be locked into one version of one distribution. They are FAIL FROM THE BEGINNING.
      neither deb nor rpm are 'proprietary' by any definition of the word ~ i think that is a pretty poor choice in words to describe them. There is nothing stopping people from implementing (for example) rpm support into a package manager like synaptic ~ there just is no interest in doing so (ie: they aren't proprietary, devs just have different ideas/visions on how packages should be managed) ... 2nd, they ARE standards (for their respective platforms, just not a 'distro to distro standard' in the universal sense, if that makes sense) and in the case of RPM (at least) is cross-distro (ie: Fedora/RHEL/CentOS, Suse, Mageia, etc). There are also more reasons that packages and formats are tied to their respective distro than just the package manager being used - one obvious reason being that different distros are shipping different versions of XYZ libraries, apps, compilers, etc ~ which affects portability. Another (big) reason is a package managers feature sets; ie: portage is nothing like synaptic, yum is nothing like makepkg, etc...

      Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
      It sounds promising if it is a cross-distro packaging format. It would be great if the existing package managers would make themselves compatible with the existing cross-distro packaging solutions out there, that is what would be really helpful, but since RPM is controlled by Red Hat and they profit off distro wars, I doubt this will ever happen. It's up to the Linux community to push for alternate package managers like this and Zero Install which can be installed on top of existing distros and their existing package managers until users can switch to distros which come with package managers that are compatible with real, cross-distro standardized packaging solutions.
      Where do you get the idea that this is what distro's even want? I can't imagine for even a second that Debian, Fedora, Suse, Archlinux, Gentoo, etc, etc would want to adopt such a package manager (by default). That isn't to say there is anything wrong with guix (in fact, i would say it has some interesting features for sure) but do you really expect distros that are (in part) defined by their package managers (and the specific features they provide, which are often a significant strength of a distro) to adopt such a system??

      I know for myself, i use Archlinux in large part because of it's package management. For me, deb/rpm are both crappy choices and likewise guix while interesting in some regards, is just as unappealing in comparison - for my usage anyway.

      Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
      If you're smart enough to be snarky about it, maybe you're also smart enough to think about how to implement a real solution to solve this problem, such as my post addresses. The libre software community should take real things that threaten software accessibility like this seriously. Not that they shouldn't also be able to take a joke.
      I think you over-estimate the value of your posting... your post doesn't address or solve any problems.
      Last edited by ninez; 11-27-2012, 08:39 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by arokh View Post
        Did you just compare package managers with countries?
        This was just an analogy to show that it's not always as simple as it seems to be and not directly related to package managers ;-)

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        • #19
          Originally posted by droste View Post
          I think you oversimplify things a bit. I mean the USA, China, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Spain, France, Germany, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, ... are all countries with people living in there and a government. So what's the point of continuing every one of them?
          You forgot Poland.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by uid313 View Post
            You forgot Poland.
            I thought it isn't a good idea to say Poland should no continue to exist as a German
            Last edited by droste; 11-27-2012, 12:38 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by timofonic View Post
              But distribution developers are full of massively developed egos, fanaticism and hidden commercial interests.
              Although not half as much as distro *fans*....

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              • #22
                Not really a mistake

                Originally posted by renox View Post
                Wrong, it isn't another package manager as it is based on NixOS's package manager, only changing its configuration language.
                NixOS's package manager has nice properties, unfortunately they also made a big error in naming the installed package "<big series of number>-package name" instead of "package name-<big series of number>"
                which makes listing the directory unreadable..
                You aren't supposed to do listings of /nix/store/ and I don't see much reason in it. There are often too many entries to list anyway, for example on my system I have over 29 thousand entries there (I'm a bit conservative when doing GC). Moreover, you can always use wildcards like /nix/store/*-firefox-*

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by timofonic View Post
                  Cats are difficult felines sometimes, but they end learning how to live at the same place. Those developers are like doing the same to a bunch of religious fanaticals, they'll end killing each other.

                  But distribution developers are full of massively developed egos, fanaticism and hidden commercial interests.
                  That's problem is that the two first gets in the way of their hidden commercial interests. Unless there are compatibility between Linux distributions it will be impossible for Linux to conquer the desktop. And in turn this means no profit.

                  What I would suggest is a meta-standard that defines package spec:s in a independent way, so that the same spec:s can make packages for the various package managers and repository formats.

                  Then I would suggest building something like blastwave that gets installed into /somting like blastwave has /csw. That would make it easier to make something distribution-independent and coherent among platforms.

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                  • #24
                    Meta-standard

                    Originally posted by mateli View Post
                    What I would suggest is a meta-standard that defines package spec:s in a independent way, so that the same spec:s can make packages for the various package managers and repository formats.
                    That's not so easy as it may seem (that's what XKCD illustrates). For example in NixOS we deal with the problem that to support transparent reliable updates you can't have libraries on standard paths but on some configure-time paths (no LSB, etc. !). Otherwise you can't atomically switch between two versions in one filesystem tree (which everyone want but almost none have).

                    Most packages can handle arbitrary paths or can be easily patched to do so (from our experience), but most packages systems IMHO count on standard paths. So it is IMHO possible to create this meta-standard but it will have to support all similar features, which will be a lot if we want to catch every small distro. I just currently can't imagine mainstream distro packagers supporting features that they don't need/use.

                    Upstream-based solutions to this seem to work better. We just need a tool that can from one reasonable description build packages at least for mainstream distros. But IMHO we have such, e.g. http://openbuildservice.org/ Nix can do this as well, but it isn't used much, as it is nonsense to maintain packages for other distros when they do it separately anyway (for most packages that we have).

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                    • #25
                      It goes against the Unix principles

                      Originally posted by vcunat View Post
                      You aren't supposed to do listings of /nix/store/ and I don't see much reason in it. There are often too many entries to list anyway, for example on my system I have over 29 thousand entries there (I'm a bit conservative when doing GC). Moreover, you can always use wildcards like /nix/store/*-firefox-*
                      the Unix principle of 'everything is a file' has one very interesting property of making the system discoverable, naming files with random number goes against this which is bad,
                      they already made it 'more discoverable' by putting the package name, but adding it at the end instead of the at the beginning *is* a mistake as it makes RE more complicated, prevents autocompletion.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nille View Post
                        unprivileged package management
                        Does that mean that in can Install an Package as an User to my Own Applications?
                        You can do that with APT too (and I suppose also with rpm), although you will probably have to do a lot of manual configuration for that...

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by renox View Post
                          the Unix principle of 'everything is a file' has one very interesting property of making the system discoverable, naming files with random number goes against this which is bad,
                          they already made it 'more discoverable' by putting the package name, but adding it at the end instead of the at the beginning *is* a mistake as it makes RE more complicated, prevents autocompletion.
                          Technically, it only prevents legacy autocompletion; many modern shells allow extended/customizable autocompletion.

                          And maybe one of the NixOS developers can tell us whether this was done on purpose (and why) or not?

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by JanC View Post
                            although you will probably have to do a lot of manual configuration for that...
                            And thats is the Problem. Why not add an flag to the packets that this is allowed to install this an an user. If the packet manager is called as an non root user. he install it in your home directory or maybe an separate folder ( maybe /opt/$user )

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