OLPC-Update + RPMs WAS:Re: OLPC XO Opera browser as Sugar activity

Erik Garrison erik at laptop.org
Mon Jun 30 18:39:01 EDT 2008

On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 01:24:36PM -0700, david at lang.hm wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Jun 2008, Erik Garrison wrote:
>> What functionality do we certainly lose by using a package management
>> system as our default software distribution system?
> it's not that we loose functionality by using a package-based approach,  
> it's that we increase complexity and eat up scarce development resources. 
> You see the fact that this may work better with custom packages as a big  
> advantage, I think that people who do custom packages can deal with the  
> complexities themselves, and that they are very much the exception rather 
> then the rule. by far the most common situation is, and is going to  
> continue to be, the case where the laptops are running a standard image  
> with no additional packages (note that this 'standard image' may be  
> defined by the country, not OLPC, and therefor may contain some packages  
> not in the OLPC image). it's only a small subset of the G1G1 and  
> development machines that will have custom packages on them.

I agree that a package-based approach increases the complexity of our
software distribution processes.  I observe, as you do, that we are
already managing a complex deployment environment in which most
large-scale deployments have their own customizations.  Individual
deployments have specific needs.  We offer them monolithic images and
also assistance in creating deployment-specific images.  This
deployment-by-deployment effort increases almost linearly with the
number of large deployments that we engage.  I suggest that a more
sophisticated packaging system becomes useful as the effort expended on
custom image creation reaches a certain level.  It is not clear what
that level is, but I doubt it lies at a scale of deployment much greater
than where we currently stand.


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