[Mageia-discuss] Attention, please

Michael Scherer misc at zarb.org
Wed Feb 23 21:12:03 CET 2011

Le mercredi 23 février 2011 à 17:11 +0000, André Machado a écrit :
> That is the point: why create a spec file for each distro? 

Even if this was a rethoric question, I think I can provides a answer.
One of the main reason is each distribution have different policy,
different version of rpm, different technologies. 

Example : 
Mandriva only have 1 supported version of python ( due to ressources
reason ), Fedora aim to support more than one ( ie, jython, ironpython )
( see http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Python ). This lead to
difference in specfile, as would a difference of version of the base
version ( ie 3 vs 2 ).

2nd example :
Mageia do not plan to use systemd for now, but Fedora and Mandriva do.
So how can we do a spec file that work on both cases, except by
duplicating the work ( ie writing systemd file and still initscript ) ?

3rd example : 
Mandriva is using rpm 5, and there is some changes ( like file trigger
that use a different syntax ). Should they wait on everybody to use the
same version so they can use the newer syntax ? 

Since Mandriva used a patch that was not at this time in Fedora, should
we avoid this ?

> Would be good if I
> create one unique RPM and can install it in ANY RPM distro; 

Well, in the end, that would mean to have only 1 rpm distribution. If
there is no functional difference between all rpm distributions, that
effectively mean we do have only one distribution, with just minor
change such as wallpapers and installed set of packages.

> Still, would be good
> if the configuration file of application foo was in the same place on distro A
> and distro B, See: some time ago, installing Lazarus in Mandriva meaned create
> many symlinks to app works. Why? 

If the rpm ( from the distribution ) required to create symlink after
installation to work, that's a bug.
If this is not the case, then the question should be answered on a case
by case basis.

> This is counterproductive and only reinforces
> the impression that Linux is difficult to use. The idea is not that everyone
> uses the same package installer or configuration utility, but that system basis
> is the same.

What make people think this is difficult is also the idea itself and the
fact that we keep repeating it. I never seen anybody saying "cell phones
all use a different UI, this is too hard, I will not buy one". Yet, cell
phones is clearly a market where there is interface fragmentation, often
obscure concepts, stupid bugs and where I have helped people on their
phone more than once. 

So if people can find proper help ( and that mean help with a physical
person, ie in your LUG, or real documentation, stuff like that ), they
no longer find this to be difficult, and that's IMHO

> Beyond, can someone please tell this idea for a OpenSuse, Fedora and PCLinuxOS
> representative to see if they accept? 

Well, I think it is up to you, as this is your idea and your project.
You can contact them quite easily, either on irc, or on their mailling

For fedora, i think you can find on :
https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-list or

For opensuse :
follow instructions on http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Mailing_lists

I assume that you can also contact centos : 

For pclinuxos, I never met anyone at any developer or free software
meeting I did since 7 years, but I guess you can contact them using this
form :  http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=165 

And for Mandriva, I think you can send a email on cooker 

And for unity linux : http://unity-linux.org/contact/

Now, I think you may have overlook the various issues involved in
packaging, and, before contacting everybody ( and likely have people
understand where you are wrong 5 times ), I would suggest to look a
little bit around. 

IMHO, you should try to become a packager ( and become one ), try on
more than one distribution, discuss with people who write the policy and
there you would be in a much better position to realize your

And also take a look on previous attempts of doing so, as you are not
the first one to attempt this ( and so, you will likely find other
people to help you this way ).
Michael Scherer

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