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Re: SEUL: package format

Reply-to: omega@seul.org

On Thu, 8 Jan 1998, Bruce Perens wrote:

> If you are going to create a new package format, _please_ base it on the
> POSIX software packaging standard (I don't have the publication number here,
> but you can search for "software packaging" on IEEE's web site).
Does this format have similar functionality to RPM and DPKG?  Do you think
it will take over for either of them?  (And what's the url, I'm not having
much luck with their search..).

> Debian will eventually switch to this package format. We have a new package
> tool (currently testing the GUI, back-end is incomplete) that is a lot
> easier than "dselect" but is still not for the computer-naive.
Depending on the outcome of xhelp and/or GNOME's Express, we may not
really need to develop a full application for package installation.  The
idea behind the xhelp project is active pages (in html or whatever) that
can actually do sysadmin-type commands.  This way we could write a simple
hierarchy of pages corresponding to the packages or groups of packages, or
even specific uses or users.  All they have to do is click, and things get

> Computer-naive people don't want to use the package manager at all,
> they want to check a box that says "I want to have a web site", etc.
> and go on. We are providing a shell-and-dialog hack to do this on
> Debian 2.0 .
Yup.  The installer is going to be interesting because of this.  Check the
archives for more detail, but the difference is that Windoze installs very
few components, so package selection is trivial.  SEUL, on the other hand,
will probably be a full CD of stuff, so package selection will be far from
trivial, unless we can dream up some decent way to simplify it.

> I would offer to collaborate on packaging stuff,

> but Debian's obviously not going to put Qt in any of its tools, ever.
> Sorry!
I agree wholeheartedly.  I haven't read it in detail, but the restrictions
the license impose are restricting enough to kill its acceptance in the
free software community.  Even a version jump and replacement of the
license for 1.x wouldn't work, because the free software world is then
stuck on the trailing edge.

I'd bet on GNOME, gtk, and gtk+, personally.  (btw, what's the latest on
Parc's ILU license?)


     Erik Walthinsen <omega@seul.org> - SEUL Project system architect
       /  \                SEUL: Simple End-User Linux -
      |    | M E G A            Creating a Linux distribution
      _\  /_                         for the home or office user