Rich kids are into COBOL

Todd Goodman tsg at
Fri Mar 6 07:59:51 CST 2015

* Tor Arntsen <kspt.tor at> [150306 04:08]:
> 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.
> -Tor

Yes exactly, Gentoo's package manager is source-centric which makes it
really easy to support bringing your special build under the package
umbrella to work with it instead of against it.

There are sometimes problems with the *nix method of shared library
versioning (e.g., when upstream doesn't bump .so versions or does a
minor when they should do a major.)

Yes, it's a matter of personal preference.

It's good to be aware of the different options available though and I
just wanted to let people know what's worked for me.  Your mileage may
vary, etc.


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