RFC: Soname in rpm name

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at redhat.com
Tue Jan 25 04:24:06 UTC 2005

On Jan 24, 2005, Axel Thimm <Axel.Thimm at ATrpms.net> wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 24, 2005 at 03:05:29PM -0200, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> On Jan 24, 2005, Ralf Ertzinger <fedora-devel at camperquake.de> wrote:

>> > The problem with this is that RPM does not indicate whether a package has
>> > "end user value" (a command line or GUI program, or a daemon), or is just
>> > a support library needed by said end user programs, which can be removed
>> > if not needed by anyone.
>> Could we perhaps add such a flag to the rpm database?  Then the
>> installer and the various other package installation front-ends could
>> mark user- (or comps-)requested packages as having end user value, and
>> everything else brought in to satisfy dependencies such that it is (or
>> can be) removed as soon as no dependencies remain.

> ATrpms has started marking library only packages with

> 		Provides: shared-library-package

> so these packages can be identifies with

> 		rpm --whatprovides shared-library-package

> and be probed for garbage collection.

The weak point of your argument is that it assumes that the only kind
of package that doesn't provide "end user value" is the kind that
provides shared-library-package.  This is just not true, although I
must admit it's the most common case.

Having package installers pin user-selected packages, or unpin
packages brought in only to satisfy dependencies, would enable all
cases to work, not only the shared library case, even without a
special provides or the too-inclusive mechanism proposed by jeff.

> I.e. there is no need to extend rpm, you have everything already in
> place.

Not quite.  Consider that I might actually want to keep a shared lib
around (say libdvdcss, only used as a plugin by libdvdread).  With
your scheme, there's no way to tell it from any other shared
lib-providing package, so it could be garbage collected along with
other libs.  Sure enough, I could install my own meta-package with an
explicit requires to keep the lib-providing package installed, but why
should I have to go through these hoops if rpm might instead offer a
`user-requested' bit to keep a package installed even if nothing else
requires it?

Alexandre Oliva             http://www.ic.unicamp.br/~oliva/
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{redhat.com, gcc.gnu.org}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{lsd.ic.unicamp.br, gnu.org}

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