Fedora package universe (was: Re: Agressive FUD by...)

Michael Schwendt bugs.michael at gmx.net
Thu Oct 19 10:33:39 UTC 2006

On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 23:27:38 -0700, Garrick Staples wrote:

> > > > > http://bugzilla.atrpms.net/show_bug.cgi?id=1028

> > Would you like help going through them?
> I went through the first dozen or so, researching the differences
> between the FE and ATrpms packages by reading the spec files.  Most of
> them seem OK to retire from ATrpms.  I filed a bug against aalib to get
> ncurses support.  Some I'm clearly not qualified to judge (like bugzilla
> and clamav) since those are big packages that I don't use.
> If you are OK with this, I'll go through some more tomorrow.

A question raised by this long thread is whether ATrpms is supposed to be
an add-on repository to Core or Core+Extras? And that regardless of
whether it might continue to upgrade FC/FE packages. The relationship
between the repositories is of interest.

As soon as it is acknowledged that ATrpms accepts Fedora Extras as another
base repository in addition to Core, it makes sense to examine duplicates
and conflicts in detail and to increase cooperation.

If you have ever before taken the time to talk to "Fedora newbies", they
often don't understand what Fedora's package universe is and whether the
mixing of Core+Extras and arbitrary 3rd repositories is _Fedora's way_.
Is it considered normal by the average Fedora user to fetch software from
a dozen different repositories?

A good percentage of the newbies you can meet in forums assume it to be
Fedora's choice that application FOO is available in repository BAR, no
matter whether the repository is available by default or not. With a
certain other OS, they are used to visiting many different download
locations, too. And with Fedora, locating Yum repositories is easy, adding
them is easy. Telling other users where to get something is easy, too.
User wants to install something and is only interested in where to get it,
not whether the dozen installed packages are really needed or whether they
touch Core components or why the package is not included by default.

User's judgement comes later, however. If the installed software fails or
if the system is messed up (e.g. blocking yum install/update), this is bad
press for Fedora. Yes, for Fedora in general, even when it is due to some
software which is not available in the default Fedora package universe.
It doesn't help to tell the user "you shouldn't have installed this and
that" or "you should have downloaded it elsewhere", because this advice
comes too late and should have been found in an obvious place.

And please don't forget that more experienced users work around problems
(and even downgrade rpms) much more quickly than the time it would take to
report a problem with fear that it is NOTABUG, WORKSFORME, DUPLICATE.

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