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

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Thu Feb 4 14:07:46 EST 2010

On Thu, Feb 04, 2010 at 02:23:05PM -0500, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
> On Thu, 4 Feb 2010, Richard Weait wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 2:07 PM, Lori Paniak
> > > As a last resort, there is nothing to stop you from creating your
> > > own deb packages - even if all the package does is copy a pile of
> > > php into a directory.  With the appropriate install and remove
> > > scripts, you can cleanly automate upgrades.  Put the packages in
> > > your own local repo and tell sources.list about it then you use
> > > your favourite dkpg frontend to manage them.
> >
> > If only there were some sort of regular, public meeting, where one
> > could learn of such technological wonders.
>   actually, there is.  it's called KWLUG, we get together monthly and
> ... oh, wait ... that was sarcasm.

No. That wasn't sarcasm. That was Richard attempting to sucker Lori
into giving a presentation. Naughty, naughty Richard! Keep up the good

Too bad building local APT packages does not solve the problem at all.
It just increases your work for little payoff. The point of APT is to
let you know when there are new updates available with apt-get update.
If you build local packages then you STILL have to track when the
package is updated. Then you have to build the local package (which
itself is a lot of work, especially if you want your package to be
compliant to Debian policy). Then you have to deploy it. 

Making .deb packages is so much extra work that it only pays off if
you are deploying to a lot of machines. That is the case for official
Debian archives and some upstream authors who package their own .debs,
but for your average person taking care of a few machines it is lousy. 

As for "everything should be packaged": well, yeah. And we should all
have ponies and there should be world peace. But it is not going to
happen, partially for political reasons and partially for technical
ones. I would prefer a system that makes my life easy in the real

Why can't somebody write code that will automatically register
RubyGems and Drupal modules into APT's databases, so that running
apt-get upgrade will inform me (and allow me to upgrade) those
packages when there are fixes? There are already lots of reasonable
packaging systems out there. Why can't they all just get along?

I am wishing for ponies too, aren't I?

- Paul

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