Okay reposted without the censor stars!
So me and a friend of mine start discussing rpms and debs after I tell him that I've been testing openSUSE and Fedora. I'm posting it here cause you Fedora guys will obviously have rpm experience. It goes like this:
I *hate* rpm! I won't use a distro that uses it. I used Mandriva for a while before I found Ubuntu and I was always getting headaches because of the package manager.
from what I understand the package manager's faults would be those of itself rather those of the rpm format. There are multiple managers for rpm like Zypper (for SUSE), Synaptic (PCLinuxOS), etc than just Urpmi.
it was a massive [headache] to install anything that wasn't in the repos.
Comparatively, I can throw apt a deb and it'll install the deps for me before installing the deb. It won't make it halfway through and then [bug] off telling me to "choose a pkg". It chooses the most compatible pkg.
I have to get [humped] by rpm before anything can get done and even then the pkg won't necessarily get installed.
It almost seems like rpm's pkg resolution isn't recursive or it just gives up really easily.
I find that as soon as rpm has a choice of pkgs to provide a req, it [bug]s off faster than superman on ritalin. When you finally choose a pkg, it will turn out to be incompatible with another dep of the original pkg. *Then* you're really [messed] and it'll be easier to survive a zombie invasion rather than figuring out which of the 5 choices *is* compatible.
Makes no difference because the problem is inherent to rpm, not the mgr.
hmm.. So you had this experience with Mandriva only? Are you sure you're not confusing Urpmi with rpm? How were you able to determine that it was the package format and not the manager that was messed up?
Also some rpms are made for different distros so they might have different nomentclature and assumptions of what's already installed (i.e. a Fedora rpm vs a openSUSE one).
Still I think you might try to give SUSE or Fed or even P.L.O. a shot. It wouldn't hurt to attempt to broaden your horizons a bit. This could just be Mandriva's problem. You might even like the others even if you ultimately choose to stick with Ubuntu anyway.
It wouldn't hurt, especially if you have a test machine.
tl;dr rpm allows reqs specified as pkgs or provides (a capability, file, etc) whereas deb only allows pkgs.
I think the times I tried to install an rpm were with a one-off rpm (not from a repo) built for that distro.
I'm not confusing urpmi with rpm. rpm pkgs specify general reqs (eg requires usb-hotplug). This req may be satisfied by more than one pkg in which case the manager will prompt the user to choose an option. [As far as I know], most managers don't check the user's choice against the rest of the deps, direct or not. They blindly install the choice and then continue. All goes well with *this* install. Now suppose the user goes to install another pkg that deps on usb-hotplug but alsp deps on usb-somethingelse. usb-somethingelse is only available in one package and that one package also provides usb-hotplug. The manager won't let 2 usb-hotplug pkgs be installed so it [bug]s off and leaves the user to sort it out. This phenomenon is colloquially known as rpm dependency hell. This is possible because rpm allows both deps on specific pkgs *and* provides whereas deb only allows pkgs.
I'm not saying it's not possible to get into a deb dependency hell, it's just a bit harder. This is all coming from 5 year old memory though.
So what do you think? Do these issues he's describing still persist? Is it an rpm design issue or was it just a package manager issue?
P.S. I hope this was the right section to post this under. If not I apologize.