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Re: Nix fixes dependency hell on all Linux distributions

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 153.90.195.54] on December 22, 2008 11:57 PM
yum is arguably equal to or better than apt-get... but let's not debate that. A lot of the issues have to do with the quality of packages and the deps put within them. Regarding repository size, check out DAG, rpm fusion, and/or EPEL for RHEL and you'll see it isn't so bad really.

Ok, now... your comments are ALMOST true with regards to Debian but you completely overlooked the solid argument made by the author in the article... what if you want something way newer than your distro currently offers? What if you want multiple versions? What if you want easy rollback? Seems like it is providing a slew of new features to me.

Regarding your comment about Nix being similar to creating a Xen virtual machine... I disagree. You can loose the benefits of shared libraries... but it isn't full machine virtualization... it is application virtualization... which is much lighter-weight than full machine virtualization. There was a pretty cool product called "thin-stall" that used this concept... install the app and everything needed to run it... and be independent. I believe thin-stall was for Windows apps and used Wine... but VMware bought it up... and it costs a fortune... so I doubt anyone is actually using it. :) Anyway, Nix is not a full machine but just an app. Now very heavy applications might require a lot of deps and memory for multiple versions of libraries to be in memory... but run of the mill applications shouldn't be that bad. It'd be a way to go back in time and compare OpenOffice.org 1.x, 2.x and 3.x on the same system without having to go the full-blown distro route. I would assume it'd let you go with something ancient just as it lets you go with something bleeding edge?!?

Now having said that, I do agree with the other features you recommend adding. Good job. I'm a big containers person and I'd like to see a package manager be able to build a container out of a package as well... so add that to the list.

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