Proposal to reduce anti-bundling requirements

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Thu Oct 8 22:42:19 UTC 2015

Neal Gompa wrote:
> ​Not that I don't agree that we should pursue unbundling whenever
> possible, but I don't remember any contract or terms that explicitly said
> *packagers* do the work of *developers* to re-architect
> ​applications/services/etc to do stuff like that. In fact, I thought *the
> whole point* of RPM packaging (and indeed packaging in general) was to
> make it so that you could reliably build and install software. Spiting
> upstream is just asking for trouble, too.

The whole point of a distribution is to ship a well-integrated set of 
packages, not a bunch of isolated sandboxes that don't talk to each other. 
If we ship the latter, we become entirely redundant and provide no service 
whatsoever to our users.

I consider unbundling to be about integration, not development. In most 
cases, you will be making little to no changes to the application's actual 
code, just fix its broken build system.

> Personally, I would consider "upstream does not support it" a very valid
> reason to not unbundle. It gets very hard to pin down where the problems
> are caused when the rug is pulled out from under you. Some applications do
> all kinds of things with their libraries or code chunks to make it safe or
> useful for their needs.

As I said, either fix the application to work with the library or fix the 
library to work with the application (and we need to force our library 
maintainers to be more flexible when it comes to the latter – there too, 
shipping an integrated set of packages is more important than blindly 
following upstream's wishes).

> We should, of course, default to unbundling. But if it's not feasible, we
> need a firm policy on how to include the software and continually engage
> on developing solutions that are appealing to everyone on improving the
> modularity of software and usefulness of reusing system copies of
> libraries.

It is almost always feasible. The new policy just encourages packagers to 
not even try!

        Kevin Kofler

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