Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-buildservice (206 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-buildservice] Nix package manager
  • From: Archie Cobbs <archie@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 11:01:40 -0600
  • Message-id: <3bc8237c0903060901m2f7d65beneaa81e9565b51772@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 10:37 AM, Cristian Rodríguez <crrodriguez@xxxxxxx> wrote:
How does this compare with openSUSE efforts to solve the same kinds of

What is your specific question ? what has NIX a package manager done
primarily for source based installations with the needs of openSUSE, a
binary distribution ?

I ask because I've found myself in the situation described in the
article: afraid to upgrade, because of past bad experiences and the
knowledge that stuff I've built on my machine will break, and instead
waiting for the next hard disk crash when I will have to reinstall
anyway :-)

On the other hand, I would be happy to hear that I'm being too
pessimistic about the openSUSE upgrade process and why. How should one
avoid dependency hell? Maybe I'm doing it all wrong.

A simple example: I have an old SLES9 machine. It still works great
and I use it every day. However, when I tried upgrading my Firefox 2.x
to 3.x, it quickly became impossible and I gave up (there is no
pre-built Firefox 3.x for SLES9 in OBS). I don't want to have to
download the Firefox source and build it manually. Of course, you can
forget trying to upgrade SLES9 to SUSE 11.x and have everything
continue to work (why should I be forced to do that anyway?). So this
is "the problem".

More generally, I get the feeling that the openSUSE "power users" stay
on the bleeding edge, so they don't get as much first-hand experience
with (and empathy for) problem situations like my example.

Dont tell me that the so called dependency hell is the blame of package
manager please.

I wouldn't say that. But I wouldn't say that dependency hell has been
banished from the earth yet either. The fact is that there seems to be
a need for a tool like Nix, so it just makes you think: why is this
tool needed? What is causing the problem? What is the right way to
solve the problem and how can we encourage and support a solution?


Archie L. Cobbs
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