Linked by Jesse Smith on Wed 10th Mar 2010 17:54 UTC
Linux One of the things I love about software, particularly open source software, is innovation can come from anywhere. Sometimes it appears out of large tech companies such as Red Hat, IBM or Sun and other times it can come from one person writing code on a second hand computer in their college dorm. Software is really the expression of ideas and concepts, which can come from anyone. So I really enjoy seeing small open source projects try new things. Some will succeed and be adopted and some will fade away, but the amazing thing is to see people put their idea out there and present it to the world. Which is why I was thrilled when a few people directed me to Paldo and suggested it was worth a look.
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RE: Comment by Kroc
by da_Chicken on Sun 14th Mar 2010 03:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
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Anything that gets package management closer to the source is welcomed.

The main reason I would never use Linux full time is because I expect to be able to upgrade to the latest Firefox the day it’s released—not six months later along with a distro upgrade. Downloading the bin from Mozilla is not good enough. I shouldn’t have to install software in my home directory, compile it myself, or work outside the package manager (so that I’m tied to manually updating) just to use a damn web browser.

If you don't mind compiling packages from source, give Source Mage GNU/Linux a try. It's kind of like Linux From Scratch with an advanced package manager that resolves dependencies automatically. The install disc (which is a bit like the minimal Gentoo install disc) installs just a very basic GNU/Linux system without Xorg, and then you can update this base system and use the package manager to install what packages you want.

The package manager was written in BASH and it has an optional ncurses frontend that displays menus for configuring the package manager and for installing/removing/upgrading packages. The package manager can also be used without the frontend, by executing the package manager commands straight from the BASH command prompt.

Source Mage GNU/Linux has a policy to avoid patching upstream software, as long as it compiles and doesn't introduce conflicts with other packages. This policy applies also to package configuration -- you need to make do with the config files that the original developers have decided to include in their packages.

The package manager installs the necessary dependencies automatically, and it prompts for every optional dependency, so you can choose whether to install it or not. When you upgrade a package, the package manager remembers what optional dependencies you chose, so you don't have to answer the same questions on every upgrade.

Source Mage GNU/Linux has two branches to choose from -- "testing", which gets "rolling release" updates and "stable", which gets updates once a month. Because Source Mage GNU/Linux doesn't offer binary packages (just scripts that download, compile and install packages), it is easier for the package maintainers to keep the package-scripts up-to-date.

Source Mage GNU/Linux is an excellent distro for advanced users, but it's not for newbies. If you've already tried Linux From Scratch but you got tired of maintaining a GNU/Linux system without a package management system, then Source Mage GNU/Linux is just what the doctor ordered. But if you have never tried Linux From Scratch, then Source Mage GNU/Linux is not the pony you've always wanted.

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