Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-buildservice (206 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-buildservice] Nix package manager
  • From: Cristian Morales Vega <cmorve69@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 19:36:05 +0100
  • Message-id: <8235e6f40903061036n37bdaab0u9c23b6376567e47f@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
2009/3/6 Archie Cobbs <archie@xxxxxxxxxxxx>:
I thought folks on this list would be interested to read this article about
Nix:

 http://www.linux.com/feature/155922

I would avoid the expression "dependency hell" since it's too vague
and usually used by uninformed people. I would also avoid say thing
like "All popular package managers, including APT, RPM", since people
will ignore you if you are talking about package managing and you
don't understand the difference between DPKG and APT (or RPM and
ZYpp).
Still, the idea is interesting. Even if I would need to look better,
specially about this "cryptographic hash" that is supposed to look at
anything that would create an incompatible package.
Say Firefox depends on packages libA 2.14 and libB, and libB depends
on libA 2.2. libA 2.14 is loaded first and even if libB is compiled
against libA 2.2, at runtime the linker will resolve the symbols
against libA 2.14... and Firefox crashes. Is the "cryptographic hash"
smart enough to see these problems?

I'm also not very sure about how the software from NIX packages
interacts with the "base distro" (but that would not be a problem is
their own distro, NixOS). The FONTCONFIG_FILE thing doesn't sound
good.

And anyway it has the usual problems. Do you really want to load three
or four different copies of GTK in memory? Memory is finite.


If someday I see this "NixOS" in the top ten of Distrowatch I will try
it. But I don't see anything the openSUSE project can or needs to do
about this Nix package manager. A Nix package can be created (anyone
is free to do so in the OBS) to make easier the installation... but
after that Nix packaged software runs "separated" from the main
distro, with even his own copy of libc. It's basically a different
distro running over openSUSE.
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