slashpackage (was: runit maintenance)

From: Laurent Bercot <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:07:06 +0200

On 23/06/2015 12:40, Lasse Kliemann wrote:
> At the moment, I am just interested in whether people (especially people
> on this list) believe there is something wrong with slashpackage, and if
> so, what it is in particular.

  Short answer: it's a political issue, not a technical one.
  Long answer:

  There's nothing wrong with slashpackage per se; it's a good convention.
However, a convention works better if everyone follows it, and almost
nobody follows slashpackage.
  I have slashpackage on my machines, which I manage by hand. It's a good
setup, I like it, but it's a lot of work to do everything by hand. Most
people won't do that.

  For any scaling to take place, you need to cater to distributors, and
most distributors will stop listening to you and rudely show you the door
as soon as you hint of maybe doing something outside FHS. (Unless the
nonFHSery comes from themselves, of course.) And if it's not
configure/make/make install, it's too hard to package. If it doesn't
fit their pre-written packaging scripts, it's additional work, and by now
everyone should know how much distributors hate doing work.

  You can't go against the will of the people to make their own choices and
install software where they please. Software should provide mechanics, not
enforce policy; if it tries to enforce policy, then people simply won't
use the software. Distributors won't package it. That's what happened to

  I'd rather have software that can be packaged and used by a lot of people,
and delegate the responsibility of installing it correctly in the proper
locations, and making things like atomic upgrades work, to smart admins.
Even better, having a slashpackage-based distribution would be awesome; but
again, it's a lot of work, since most of the software you'll manage will
not be slashpackage-friendly or even -aware, so no distribution I know of
has decided to take the plunge, although ISTR there have been similar

  The world has changed, the amount of computers one person has to manage
has exponentially increased, and it's not reasonable anymore to expect an
admin to install and maintain software by hand because it has different
requirements than other software. So, make your software /package-aware,
support it, advocate it, but don't make it mandatory or even the default,
because it will just turn people off.

Received on Tue Jun 23 2015 - 12:07:06 UTC

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