An up-to-date look at free software and its makers


Article from Issue 66/2006
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Conary promises a new approach to package management, and the Ecology howto provides tips on sustainable computing. We’ll also look at Stopmotion, a tool for creating cartoons, and we’ll tell you about the latest Debian controversy.

The more distributions, software packages and repositories there are, the worse the problems with package management become. Linux users must contend with unresolved dependencies, incorrect library versions, and overwritten patches. Rpath [1] have adopted a radical approach to simplifying package management. The company mainly comprises former Red Hat managers and developers. The fact that Erik Troan, the inventor of the RPM package management system, and Michael K. Johnson, who headed kernel development and later the Fedora project, are both on board lends credibility to the project. Add a smattering of former maintainers, and you get a team that is loaded with Linux skills. Linux Toolbox Rpath is currently working on their own Linux distribution, which will serve other projects or companies as a basis for special Linux variants. The Rpath team is developing the Conary system [2] to handle package management. And Conary looks set to resolve many of the issues that plague package management systems. Conary is not compatible with other package formats, so it will only work on systems designed to use it out of the box, such as Rpath Linux or Foresight Linux [3] by Ken van Dine. Foresight, which is based on Rpath, comes with the latest versions of Gnome and related technologies, such as Hal and Beagle.

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