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improving rpm



rpm has served us well, as have the tools that have grown around it (yum,
smart, etc.).

One thing that is not currently addressed well is how to track local changes
to config files.  For now, rpm just punts, and not very intelligently. 
When a package is updated, it just creates either config.rpmnew or
config.rpmsave.  It is not intelligent - it creates these unconditionally
even if there is no actual change to the installed file.

I used to try to check these and see if there were important changes - but
now I just do what probably 99% of you do, which is just ignore it and hope
nothing breaks.

I was quite interested when I saw the announcement of conary, which solves
this problem by allowing local changes tracked as patches.

It occurs to me that we can get most of the benefit if rpm is modified to do
two things.

1) Don't create needless .rpmsave/.rpmnew if there is no change
2) Attempt to merge changes, in the manner of a modern revision control
system.


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