Thanks. As a long time user of sabayon(certainly since before it was exactly rolling release) and gentoo and... anyway, I understand more rigorous depenancy connection between binaries, although maybe my question was more inspired by my growing frustration with rolling release than my understanding of that. Anyway, yes the binary nature of a binary distribution puts more demands on having all packages from the same release obviously and rolling release means unless you snapshot a single release and keep the whole thing with you at all times, then you're stuck updating many things to today's release. Technically it's possible to do better by really tracking ABI dependancies more closely in the package management, as mentioned, but ebuild information is not enough for that (because gentoo wasn't made for that) and the work involved to add that information in entropy is probably impracticle. I'm happy taking the risky route sometimes, now that I know how it works, and since I pay attention to what packages get installed and thus know what risk I'm really taking.
Unfortunately this is the big obvious horribly nasty side effect of a pure rolling release. "Update your system before installing ANYTHING"(although it's not quite true, but close enough,.. more later) is clearly a work flow that works for fun systems (young people learning linux or more experienced folks people playing around with a non-critical box), but it's unworkable for most real use (real like you get paid for it, not real like you're willing to take the risk on tomorrow's homework grade). It's 11pm, you need some relatively minor package for some tiny but presently highly useful feature to finish your work tonight, you have meetings early in the morning and need the computer working for them.. right, reinstall ALL the software on your system right now, gauranteed to take an hour at least, possibly will break things, at least enough that you need a fresh head and 10 minutes to figure out why, possibly worse. No, that doesn't work, almost never. Even weekly, most people with personal lives can't risk an un-anticipated potential interruption to their weekend every weekend, even if it's only half an hour of "I hope I can get this fixed before 2:00". Who needs that stress? Rolling binary release is for play IMHO, not for work. Sorry to be so negative/critical. I've been a sabayon fan a long time. I like much about it, but I'll probably switch(of course I already use it some places) to the boring mainstream ubuntu when I switch my primary laptop (I don't do that often either) now. I don't mean to sound judgemental either or like one of those celebreties "threatening" to leave the country. It's free and it's good for what it is, but probably the direction it's gone and the direction I need are not as compatible as they once were. That's fine, but it's also worth making a fine point of the reasons why.
The idea of snapshot releases that emerged recently is great and I hope it gets some official traction.
It's a bit of a joke that equo still recommends to upgrade the package manager before anything else though. If it's really true that installing anything depends on having a recent package manager running and installing the recent package manager requires installing everything, then, well that's clearly the joke. Fortunately I've never hit an actual problem with that, but the warning is still a bit humorous.
Now back to pick on your overly generalized claim. I would say that's just wrong. If you have a dep tree like this:
- Code: Select all
A B C
| | |
Where F is the kernel or whatever and A B and C are applications.
If you have everything but A installed and updates are available for D B and C but not F or E and you ask to install A you will pull updates for D and B, and C will be left alone even though there is an update, and you will have no problem since C doesn't care at all about anything that has changed. In most normal situations if everything works right, just doing the install of A should take care of this just fine without updating "your system". This can be especially important if there is one high level package that you depend on for work that does not require upgrading. Of course you rarely get that lucky, but I have made MANY install triggered upgrades to large fractions, but not all, of my system without problems.