[kwlug-disc] What's the best desktop distribution?

john at netdirect.ca john at netdirect.ca
Thu Feb 4 16:54:39 EST 2010


kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote on 02/04/2010 02:31:51 PM:
> 
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM, Paul Nijjar <paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca> 
wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 04, 2010 at 07:53:46AM -0500, Lori Paniak wrote:
> >
> > In a deb-based system, I can upgrade *all* installed applications and
> > the OS with two lines:
> >
> > apt-get update
> > apt-get upgrade

> .... provided you have installed ONLY packages from APT repositories.
> This has always been an issue with Perl modules, but it is getting
> worse with Ruby gems and Drupal modules and who knows what else. I am
> increasingly growing to believe that Debian package management is
> ill-suited for the kinds of applications people actually want to run.
> 
> You raise a valid point, but there is a difference between language 
extensions
> on the one hand (e.g. Perl CPAN, Ruby Gems, and even PHP PECL and 
> PEAR), and applications (Drupal) on the other side.
> 
> Most of the stuff I need from Perl is packaged in Ubuntu repositories, 
and
> you can find it as "libSOMETHING-perl", e.g. libwww-mechanize-perl,  
> libwww-perl, ...etc. There is still a few things where you have to use 
the
> cpan command to get stuff.

I used cpan2rpm when possible to download the perl module and build an 
RPM. It doesn't auto-update though.

I also use pear make-rpm-spec to do the same for Pear modules. Again no 
updates.

I do this so I can track the packages installed.
 
> Similarly, for PHP, most of the modules I need are in the repositories, 
> except for APC (a code cache for PHP), and I have to use pecl to get it.
> 
> Not an ideal situation, but when used sparingly, it does not introduce 
> a lot of hassles.
> 
> Language extensions, should all have versions in the repositories, 
because
> there are dependencies from some scripts that are included in packages
> on stuff, and upgrading from CPAN/PECL/etc can break stuff.
> 
> I think the reason is that those archives are vast and rapidly moving, 
so
> the Debian/Ubuntu folk package the necessary ones and leave out the
> majority of them. Who knows exactly what other factors are there?
> 
> For Drupal, it is a different situation though. On the surface of it, it 
is 
> similar, but in fact, Drupal modules are applications, and there is no
> dependencies from other applications on a Drupal module. You either
> have a Drupal site that needs them, or you don't. There is no cross-
> breakage from other packages on your server if you upgrade Drupal
> modules.
> 
> By the way, in Drupal 7, there is now an update manager module included
> with core which can install and update stuff right from the web 
interface.

Now we have more than one update manager. I suspect it will only get worse 
too.

RPM (and I assume debs) seem to have handled many of the classic software 
well, but it's devolving for some the popular packages. It's not just 
Drupal, we run Asterisk as a non-RPM packaged.

It completely slipped my mind where we went outside the package manager.

John Van Ostrand
Net Direct Inc.
 
CTO, co-CEO
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12
map
 
Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6
 
john at netdirect.ca
Ph: 866-883-1172
ext.5102
Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware
Fx: 519-883-8533
 





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