[lug] a bit tired of updates

Michael J. Hammel mjhammel at graphics-muse.org
Wed Oct 27 12:00:53 MDT 1999

Thus spoke Rob Riggs
> However, there are times when you will realize that it is
> just easier to upgrade your distribution to the latest
> release. I finally upgraded to Red Hat 6.0 recently,
> because that is what most of the Gnome developers were
> using. It got to the point that upgrading the OS was easier
> than trying to keep up upgrading libraries everytimg I
> wanted to try out a new application.

Since GNOME is a fairly young set of tools, you'll find you're going to be
updating it relatively often to get the full features it promises for the
long term.  KDE has similar problems, but is a little more mature.  Other
applications have similar issues.

What you end up doing is finding the tools that need to updated along with
GNOME (GTK for example) or KDE and put those under their own directories under 
/usr/local (which is on its own partition).  Then you install a new
distribution, remove the GNOME/GTK, etc rpms that the install put on the
system and continue on your merry way.  Upgrades are then done from source
into your /usr/local directories.  I haven't done an GNOME build yet, but
the GTK builds are pretty easy.  If you install from source you often
aren't required to get the latest foobar.so library - it'll work with what
you have.  The dependencies of RPMs can make life rough for users of
rapidly evolving application-level tools.

For example, I placed gtk, gtk-engines, gimp-1.0 and gimp-1.1 under
/usr/local.  Then I install a new RH installation.  After the install
finishes, I use rpm -<whatever> to remove the gtk RPMs and update the
/etc/ld.so.conf to include my /usr/local installations (actually, I just
save a copy of ld.so.conf and copy it over the newly installed one.  The
only exception I currently have for this rule is Perl, since it liked
upgrading itself in place, under the system directories.  The bad news is I
can't remember all the modules I've added, so if I ever upgrade the OS a lot of
things are gonna break.  *sigh*

The process is moderately painless once you get used to it.  The problem I
have is that the stupid C libraries change on the whim of madmen, breaking
commercial packages.  No matter what anyone says, Applix is a much better
word processor than AbiWord, StarOffice, WordPerfect or anything else out
there.  Until I can afford to upgrade Applix, I have to stick with RH 5.2.
The version I have doesn't work on 6.x.  It bugs me because similar problems
has shown up a number of times in the past:  migrating from a.out to elf,
from libc5 to libc6, from glibc2.0 to glibc2.2.  Arrggghhh!
Michael J. Hammel           |
The Graphics Muse           |   Chinese Proverb:
mjhammel at graphics-muse.org  |      Man who leaps from tall building, jumps to
http://www.graphics-muse.com       conclusion.

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