Re: [dev] [9buntu] first attempt -bashing needed

From: Ethan Grammatikidis <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 03:35:46 +0100

On the subject of distros I would like to promote Source Mage as a
class above Gentoo and Arch, although it's really not the right distro
for this topic. I think of it as a class above the purely rolling
update distros because the Source Mage folk found a way to produce a
fairly reliable stable version with frequent releases despite having a
small team. It's certainly not in the same class as Slackware for
reliability, but fixing packages in Source Mage is probably easier
than in most distros.

I don't think Source Mage is suitable for this particular topic
because the base system just isn't very flexible, it has to be all Gnu
or you're left with a lot of work adapting stuff. Both the package
manager and the init system are written in shell script, that shell is
Bash, the supporting utilities probably need to be Gnu coreutils (and
of course POSIX grep and sed), and that's not even the whole story.

I sometimes wish for a distro with the practices and principles (and
camaraderie) of Source Mage but dependant on rc/p9p instead of bash,
or at least plain Bourne shell (with a statically linked toolset to
make up performance), but Donald reminds me of an overriding concern.

On 30 Jul 2010, at 7:47, Donald Allen wrote:
> My problem with the Slackware packaging
>> system is its lack of dependency management.
> My point is that that's a much smaller issue than one might think,
> because, again, core Slackware installs just about everything you
> need. So there's hardly any dependency management to be done. And what
> needs to be done is simple to do.

After 5 years with Source Mage, which ultimately developed its package
manager to what I think is a very high standard, I really feel that a
large, comprehensive base system is a better thing than the best
package manager there could ever be.

I'd even say a large base system is actually suckless, because
compared to a many-package distro the large base system needs about
the same amount of work to integrate but saves on the work of
developing and maintaining the package manager. There are of course
issues with the large base, but I really prefer it.
Received on Sat Jul 31 2010 - 04:35:46 CEST

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