[packman] Future of PackMan?

todd rme toddrme2178 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 11 12:01:31 CET 2012

On Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 7:15 PM, oldcpu <oldcpu at opensuse-forums.org> wrote:
> (1) an availability consistency in their packages, as opposed to the
> individual OBS packagers (with their private repositories) who in providing
> packages via OBS may feel no obligation to continue to offer a package for
> all openSUSE versions and for openSUSE updates,

I don't think anyone was talking about private OBS repos (home:
repos), but rather semi-official project ones like the Multimedia:,
Gnome:, KDE:, Science:, Devel:, Education:, and so on, which are used
as staging areas for packages that will end up in factory, as well as
sources of additional packages that will never go in factory but might
be used.  They have dedicated maintainers who maintain the packages,
handle which distributions versions are built, and check external

> (2) a relatively easy means to contact the Packman packagers via the Packman
> mailing list, when there are problems with a packaging, which is often not
> so easy to contact OBS packagers wrt OBS packaged applications, and

The disadvantage Packman is that it is harder for users to make
improvements.  In OBS, if there is a package that isn't up-to-date or
isn't being built in an optimal manner, I can branch it, fix it
myself, then submit the fixed version back to original project, making
the update available to everyone.  As far as I am aware this is not
possible with Packman.

> (3) a relatively higher standard of stability in the Packman packaged apps
> than in some of the OBS packaged applications (where some may debate this
> last point of mine - which is a personal subjective observation).

It comes at the disadvantage that packages are not built against the
current releases.  For instance with KDE packages, I can get the
latest up-to-date version of KDE with all KDE packages built against
that release.  This is not possible with the packman version of KDE
packages, for example.

> One example of this would be webcam drivers (such as stk11 and r5u870 which
> are available in OBS in private repositories).  Another would be packaging
> of video conference applications (such as Skype), and there are many other
> examples.  Again, while such migrations can and currently should be
> discussed on the mailing list, I believe a further dedicated discussion
> mechanism would be useful so as to not have other distracting support posts.

If closed-source drivers or applications like skype are in the main
OBS they are violating OBS policies.  They should not be there at all.


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