Rich kids are into COBOL

Tor Arntsen kspt.tor at
Fri Mar 6 03:08:46 CST 2015

On 5 March 2015 at 19:09, Todd Goodman <tsg at> wrote:
> * Tor Arntsen <kspt.tor at> [150304 21:17]:
>> On 4 March 2015 at 18:56, Todd Goodman <tsg at> wrote:

>> > After running into that particular package hell early on in my Linux
>> > experience, I switched to Gentoo linux where multiple versions of
>> > libraries can be installed at the same time and used by whatever
>> > software needs them.
>> >
>> > Todd
>> As can Debian, so I'm a bit surprised. It's straight forward on *nix-like
>> systems to have multiple run-time versions of a library. It's designed
>> for it.
>> The problem is when you need different *compile time* (aka development)
>> versions of a library, then you'll need to have different name spaces.
>> The remaining issue may be that the distro may not provide different
>> versions of all the libraries you need out of the box. Then there will
>> be additional
>> work. And that may or may not be more effort than it's worth, granted.
>> -Tor
> You don't strictly need different namespaces even at compile time,
> just to pull the library in from a different install location (and set
> the proper link options on the build.
> This is a lot easier under Gentoo than in Debian or RedHat or other
> binary distros (IMNSHO.)
> And while it's not hard to add a PPD or whatever it's called for Debian,
> it's exceedingly easy to add a slotted ebuild on Gentoo supporting a new
> version of a library that can be installed alongside other versions of
> the same library (runtime and compiletime on Gentoo.)

It's no much different from Debian really. You're of course free to
build from source there too, apt-get source instead of apt-get
install, and then build and install. It seems to me the difference is
more in the focus of the package management system, where Gentoo's
'emerge' nominal method is a package from source (but binary is
possible), while on Debian the nominal method is from binary (but
source is possible). And in any case, on any *nix it's of course no
problem keeping different versions (with the same naming - in this
case anywhere.
But it's a matter of personal preference exactly which distro feels
best for you. For me .deb-based systems totally beat .rpm-based ones,
for example, but not everyone would agree.  And I can easily accept
that Gentoo may be better prepared to parallel-install compile time
libraries and still be under package management, but it's a matter of
degree, not ability.


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