red hat, linux | View Comments Tonight, I stumbled upon an embarrassing RPM bug report that puts Red Hat developers in a bad light. I can understand that as a developer you could become frustrated with a report, but instead of trying to explain how the RPM database could go into an inconsistent state, and determine whether that was fixable or not, the developers berated the users. Is this how you build a community? Finally, after two years of ignoring the bug, Red Hat finally came around and 'fixed' it, though it isn't clear whether they fixed the general case, or put a work around for the behavior from the original report. I wasn't aware that RPM or yum had this behavior and it makes me trust the whole mess a lot less. I wonder how apt-get handles this. As a system admin, I generally prefer systems with package management. Being able to do security updates without hassle is a huge benefit. However, no matter how much one tries, there are always going to be programs or libraries outside your package manager. From a philosophical point of view, it is probably better to have all or nothing, so I sympathize with those who compile and install everything, or use a comprehensive system like BSD ports. I think a better system could be developed that encompasses the entirety of program management. It should include installing libraries from scripting languages such as Python Eggs, Ruby Gems or Perl CPAN. It should probably include hooks into GNU AutoConf/AutoMake, though I imagine the political hurdles of getting so many disparate projects to agree on a standard would be far greater than the technical ones. I suppose we can all hope.
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