Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2831 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Re: MiniSUSE project page.
  • From: Pascal Bleser <pascal.bleser@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2006 14:13:29 +0200
  • Message-id: <44C21669.1090602@xxxxxxxxx>
Hash: SHA1

jdd wrote:
> HG wrote:
>> 4) No X
> with 10.0 I could strip this under 500Mb, with some work. It's much too
> big (I already installed debian in 180Mb)

The reason is mostly that Debian's packaging policy is to make a very
large number of very small packages and subpackages.

It really isn't simple.

On one hand, from one piece of software (an application, a library,
...), you could have it split into several subpackages, e.g. the shared
library (that is required by other applications or libraries), the files
needed to compile against that library (the well-known "-devel" or
"-dev" packages), additional binaries into yet another subpackages, etc
The advantage of that approach is that you more or less only install
what is needed. As an example, if you install some application that only
requires the shared library from another package, you'll just install
that, and not the devel files, additional binaries, etc...

Note that the split between libXXX and libXXX-devel is typically done on
pretty much any distribution, and also on SUSE Linux, although not
always. But that's a different topic, I won't rant about that now ;))

On the other hand, when you really split features or files into many
small subpackages, you'll have a lot more dependencies to solve and handle.
Actually, it's not *really* a problem. People complain about "dependency
hell", but I really don't understand... never, ever install RPMs
"manually" (with rpm -i/-U/-F) unless you really know what you are
doing. Always use a package manager (yast2, zmd, rug, smart, apt, yum,
whatever), as it will nicely resolve the dependencies for you and
install everything that's needed.

Personally, I totally disagree with people who complain about a lot of
packages and dependencies (except that, in theory, the more
dependencies, the more complex), but it's like that, there are people
who don't like it.

Well, all that just to explain that it's a sword that cuts both ways: if
you want smaller systems, you need smaller (and more) subpackages, but
there are people who don't like that and will complain.

>> But can it be implemented just by creating number of different
>> predefined package selections
> this should be possible with the new package management system.

This has been possible since a very long time with YaST2 ;)
Those are just .sel files:

> the problem I see is that dependencies are written in rpm's by
> dveloppers of the application, not SUSE. So at first this may be only
> available for packages homed in the openSUSE build system :-(

Actually, it's exactly the opposite.
Of course, when a developer of an application choses to use GTK, GNOME,
QT or KDE libraries (or fltk, or whatever toolkit), then you have a
dependency on those shared libraries.
That's inevitable and, frankly, you cannot expect someone to write e.g.
YaST2's GUI with plain Xlib instead of using a high-level toolkit (like QT).

The only thing that could be done is to split those library packages
into more, smaller subpackages to really only install the few files that
are needed - no more, no less.

But that's also pretty tedious to do.

Anyhow, it's pretty much simplicity vs disk space ;)

- --
-o) Pascal Bleser
/\\ <pascal.bleser@xxxxxxxxx> <guru@xxxxxxxxxxx>
_\_v The more things change, the more they stay insane.
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