Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: hasufell <hasufell@g.o>
To: gentoo-project@l.g.o
Cc: docs-team@g.o
Subject: [gentoo-project] improving alternative PM support in gentoo
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2015 17:24:21
Message-Id: 55CF75BC.10804@gentoo.org
Hi all,

I would like to improve support for alternative package managers in
Gentoo in any way possible and make a few points about why I think this
is important and useful. As the most important example right now, I will
talk about Paludis.

Paludis is a multi-format package manager[0] supporting Gentoo and has
been around since 2006. Since then, it has been used by Gentoo users and
developers.

Paludis supports all EAPIs and implements PMS[1] consistently. It has
been deemed stable on amd64 and x86 last year[2] and generally supports
the following architectures: alpha, amd64, arm, ia64, mips, ppc, ppc64,
s390, sparc, x86.[3]

It is also well known for its rich configuration system and the
strictness properties of the dependency resolver which is what most
people value it for.

Currently, there are not many support channels for people who combine
Gentoo with Paludis (only for both separately). Our main Gentoo support
channels are also a bit wary towards Paludis and I am hoping to not only
show that it is a very useful package manager, but that it also benefits
Gentoo as a meta-distribution to be open towards such innovative approaches.

My aim would be that all our main support channels like #gentoo, the
user mailing lists, the forums and so on treat user discussions
regarding alternative package managers in (almost) the same way as Portage.

That also means that we would have to integrate these alternatives in
our documentation, hopefully the official one. Because I think our
official documentation should discuss package managers in the same way
it discusses file systems. So, it is fine to recommend e.g. Portage and
ext4 as the main examples, but we should also mention zfs, btrfs,
Paludis, Pkgcore (when it catches up) and so on.
In the case of Paludis, the upstream documentation[4] is quite technical
and doesn't give a concise enough introduction for Gentoo beginners, who
want to follow a step-by-step guide. Because of that, I have written up
such a guide and proposed it to be included in the official Gentoo
handbook[5][6].

This could be the start of improving a number of things:
* introduce Gentoo beginners to useful PM alternatives
* improve support for these in all our main support channels
* users don't have to search hours for e.g. Paludis related guides,
which are scattered across ancient wikis and forum posts, any more
* raise awareness that Gentoo is different (and has a PMS for a reason)
* encourage other PMs (like Pkgcore[7]) by promising to treat them as
first-class citizens in Gentoo if they are able to support the full PMS
* make clear that we care about technology, no matter where it comes from

What do you guys think about this? Do you see any other things that need
to be tackled in order to get there? Maybe create a project for this?

I think we need to start somewhere and maybe the official documentation
is that place, because it is more than just a technical statement. And I
think we need such a statement.


[0] http://paludis.exherbo.org/index.html
[1] https://dev.gentoo.org/~ulm/pms/head/pms.html
[2] https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=520874
[3] https://gitweb.gentoo.org/repo/gentoo.git/tree/sys-apps/paludis/paludis-2.4.0.ebuild#n20
[4] http://paludis.exherbo.org/configuration/index.html
[5] https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=557324
[6] https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/User:Hasufell/Test#Alternative:_Configuring_Paludis
[7] https://github.com/pkgcore/pkgcore

--
Best regards,
Julian Ospald

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