Subject: Re: 100 Acre Software...a look back
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 17:39:57 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <> writes:

    Crispin> If the product is monolithic (i.e. gcc, emacs, etc.) then

XEmacs now has a "native" (ie, written in elisp, and to its own spec)
packaging system.

And how about The GIMP and Script-Fu?

Finally, note that Debian, TurboLinux, and RedHat all split up gcc
into several pieces (-binary, -devel, -doc, -source).

Debian splits things like python, Perl, and ruby into literally dozens 
of pieces.

    Crispin> packaging is fairly low value.  If the product contains
    Crispin> HUNDREDS of components (RH 5.1 has 526 RPM packages, plus

XEmacs now has about 80 packaged lisp libraries, IIRC.
    Crispin> the kernel) then packaging becomes a significant value.

I don't think anything can be considered monolithic anymore, unless
the lead developer sees an advantage in keeping it that way.  If you
think you can play the Cygnus hand, cool.  But as soon as you realize
you are no longer the fastest draw in the valley for the _whole_
shebang, hive off the parts you think have the worst value-added vs
own technical advantage tradeoffs, and concentrate on the parts where
you can continue to blitz the competition.

I think packaging is the name of the game.  AKA "software ICs".  CTAN
and CPAN need this desperately (CPAN has something like it now, I
think).  Debian is now way out of hand, with over 3500 packages in the 
"unstable" distribution (main, contrib, and non-free, -non-US and -JP).

And glibc ... Aaaaaargh!  There is no excuse for du /lib -> 5MB
(excluding /lib/modules).
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