[Rpm-maint] [rpm-software-management/rpm] Metatags (#107)

Panu Matilainen pmatilai at laiskiainen.org
Mon Dec 12 16:47:42 UTC 2016

On 12/12/2016 06:13 PM, proyvind wrote:
> Skimming through your link to suse's patterns, it's hard to easily grasp
> it's purpose, while if serving the same purpose, the implementation of
> is not only extremely confusing, hard to maintain and extremely
> non-standard fashion, rather than implemented in rpm itself in a proper,
> intuitively named way for wider adoption.
> As the group tag more recently has been made optional, with it's
> replacement that's not limiting to single tag value, requiring
> standardized set of groups being moved out of rpm, this is really bad
> considering cross-compatibility, with functionality tied to distro
> specific dependency solver.

The groups tag was never standardized nor correctness enforced, so it 
is/was truly useless for almost all purposes. Probably seemed like a 
neat thing back in the nineties with a couple of hundred packages in the 
entire distro :)

> By rather introducing the trivially implementation of MetaTags:, a
> proper replacement for group tag is provided in rpm itself where it
> should be, while the support of multiple meta tags rather than group,
> aids the vendor specific groups that's not standardized across distros,
> leaving yet another obstacle for cross-distro packaging compatibility.
> I hope this better explains it's purpose, rationale, motivation and
> benefits of. :)

I implemented essentially the same thing back in 2008 but with 
"keywords" as the tag. Never committed it since  a free-form string 
array is likely to end up as a junkyard of typoed cruft - just like 
group was, only worse.

Sort of related to that: for every reason to include such data in 
packages themselves, there's a counter-argument. For example, you 
really, really dont want to end up rebuilding the kernel or LibreOffice 
or such just to add, remove or typo-fix a keyword/tag. And tags in 
packages it's unlikely to be useful for, say, distro/spin-composing in 
the way eg comps is used.

It's just one of those things that seems like a decent idea but coming 
up with an actual use-case isn't that easy.

	- Panu -

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