What would it take to make Software Collections work in Fedora?
mattdm at fedoraproject.org
Wed Dec 5 16:17:56 UTC 2012
There is a perpetual problem facing all Linux distributions around how fast
to move with software updates. In Fedora, of course, our default speed is
petal-to-the-metal. This is part of who we are and why we are awesome.
However, it also sometimes makes life difficult for us -- for example, our
Puppet packages are broken because Ruby is too new. It also makes life
difficult for people trying to use Fedora seriously. It's especially hard
with Ruby and Java -- not that there's anything _wrong_ with these
languages, but the packaging expectations are different and often in
conflict with the system operator's traditional packaging worldview.
So, some Red Hat folks have developed an idea called Software Collections
which is aimed at this problem -- it lets you install and choose between
different versions of RPM-packaged software in parallel at run-time.
The base tool for enabling this (scl-utils) is included in Fedora, but we
don't allow Software Collections actually as Fedora packages (see
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SoftwareCollections). This is for very good
reasons -- there are a number of huge unanswered questions around structure,
infrastructure, maintenance, and security updates.
I think, though, that this tool, integrated well and supported, could really
help us in Fedora (and in EPEL). So, I'd like to
a) enumerate the problems with Software Collections in Fedora,
b) develop a medium-term plan for solving those problems, and
c) develop a longer-term plan for taking full advantage of the functionality
Matthew Miller ☁☁☁ Fedora Cloud Architect ☁☁☁ <mattdm at fedoraproject.org>
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