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'policy' for multiple versions of same software in EPEL

So... I've paid attention to the conversations around this because i
was a long time zabbix user, so it affected me in that I had to build
my own 'latest' packages usually or download from the maintainer's
personal repository.  If I remember correctly it has also been
discussed around lots of web apps like bugzilla as well.

But now its something that is potentially going to affect me more as I
jumped on as a co-maintainer of collectd in the recent pre-orphaning
package spree and started trying to get rspec-puppet packaged [1] due
to requirements @dayjob.

So in the sidebar discussion about collectd the following was in the thread:

>> One thing to work on is to create new EPEL-only collectd5 package, see
>> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=743894#c4
>> In c6 there's collectd5.spec contributed by eolamey - remaining issues
>> could be worked around by adding explicit Conflicts: collectd so that
>> file and module paths don't need to change.
> This is something to avoid if at all possible, IMHO.
> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Conflicts

But a few weeks ago in the Zabbix discussion on list [2] I saw:

>> One of the options was to change the package name and host both
>> releases in EPEL.  I'm not sure how often this actually happens, or
>> what the path to get there would be.
> That's the approach we took. zabbix20 conflicts with zabbix.  ..snip..

I've read through the Packaging:Conflicts wiki.  I just don't feel
like it adequately addresses the EPEL 'newer' version scenario.  Maybe
that is just cause I'm missing something (in which case can someone
clarify for me, and maybe we can make it clearer in the wiki?) or
because it just isn't defined.  I'll concede that some examples listed
of packages that perform each of the various 'solutions' described
would be awesome and might resolve some of the lack of clarity.

So the two scenarios I'm looking at:

1: collectd [3] - to make version 5 available in epel5/6 will have to
submit collectd5 package.  Most of the work is done, but right now the
created package 'conflicts' due to duplicate library files and the
perl-Collectd module needing to be renamed.  I can usually package up
software pretty readily, and I don't know how to do what is needed to
do this without more guidance (more admin than dev).  Because of what
the software is, I'd imagine most people are running either version 4
or version 5.  Some people might be running both environments from the
server side (separate collectors), but aren't likely to have a
monitored (client) system active in both.

2: rubygem-rspec (no associated bugzilla entry that I am aware of yet)
- to make rspec-puppet available in epel 5/6 version 2 of rspec needs
to be made available.  I assume this means that the same general
concept of rspec2 package needing to be initiated begins.  With this
one there appears to be way more impact as there are at least 3
packages that build on top of rspec currently. [4] Because this is
more of a library set of packages, and most of those packages perform
different functionality for rspec that may not always be for the same
end use cases it makes conflicts a harder possibility.  So i'd imagine
either a) have to do a parallel installable rspec2 release of all of
them that conflicts so that the 'gems' themselves don't need to be
adjusted or b) adjust the entire rubygem so that it behaves as rspec2
and make the other gems use rspec2 rather than rspec.




[1] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=787350
[2] http://www.redhat.com/archives/epel-devel-list/2012-September/msg00037.html
[3] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=743894
[4] although upon further review.. it appears that none are branched
into epel and all are current with rspec2, which negates a lot of the
conflicts and actually would open them up to epel....

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