Subject: Re: Current events and free software
From: Nick Jennings <>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 15:41:00 -0700

On Wed, Sep 19, 2001 at 10:47:01PM +0200, Stefane Fermigier wrote:
> One year ago, I've written (in Python) the "rpmwatch" utility.
> This is a script for the Mandrake distribution that checks if there are any
> packages to update for some security reasons and sends an email to a
> prescribed person if it is the case.
> I personnaly run it on everyone of my servers once a day, in a cron job.
> I wrote it one year ago to show MandrakeSoft that it was easy to do, so that
> they would include a more involved functionality in their distribution.
> It took me about 1 day to write the script, and most of it was spent reverse
> engineering the Mandrake update infrastructure, and figuring out the RPM API.
> To this date, they didn't do anything to enhance the script (which, in
> MandrakeSpeak, means "rewrite it in Perl" :-) and to include it as a standard
> feature in their distribution.

 They may not have enhanced your script. But they have added that 
 functionality. (Or rather, ported it from Debian's apt system).
 I Don't use Mandrake, but I do know that this system is used in
 thier newer releases. I forgot what they called it...

> I just think that it is a shame that most (if not all) serious distributions
> don't include a similar feature or utility.

 Debian has had this feature (more robust and in-depth) for several years.

  Nick Jennings