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SubjectRe: packages and the kernel (long, sorry...)
>>>>> "Michel" == Michel LESPINASSE <walken@via.ecp.fr> writes:

Michel> Basically I would like to be able to type something like
Michel> "setpackage libc-5.3.18" before my make install or my tar
Michel> xvzopf, and the kernel would remember for me that any new
Michel> files it creates are part of this package. This would allow
Michel> for a much more generalistic solution.

The simplest way to do this that I can think of is to associate a
"package id" field with every inode and process, which is simply a
number like the uid and gid fields. uid and gid control permissions,
whereas package id is for package administrative purposes only. Newly
created files are given the current process' package id, as are files
that are opened with O_TRUNC.

This should be quite simple to add to the ext2 filesystem.

It would be highly desirable for each filesystem to at least keep track
of which package ids are in use, just so that if the user-space database
is lost, you don't accidentally reuse an existing package id and get
horribly confused at a later date. Extras could include efficient
access to all the files using a given package id, but that isn't at all
necessary.

Everything else could be handled using user-level software, even in a
multi-user, file-serving environment.

I don't advocate this as a general way to do package maintainence.
However, for the sake of software that does _not_ come neatly packaged,
it would be a great time saver. Most software won't come neatly
packaged for a very long time. Certainly, almost all the software I
install doesn't have a package description file anywhere that I know of.
I install and upgrade quite a lot of software, so I know just how much
effort is required to keep track of it all.

Enjoy,
-- Jamie


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