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Just random notes at this point:
- Razor is a package management system replacing rpm and yum. Razor
implements management of packages installed on the system,
dependency solving, and upgrading in a small compact code base with
minimal dependencies.
- Key points: one file format for package sets, specified and
implemented by razor; no point in splitting dep-solver and package
manager, there is too much implementation overlap. By hand coding
the on-disk format we have a solid foundation on which to
implementing fast dependency solving, error recovery etc. No
complex dependencies in package management stack. In other words,
package management is *simple*, no need to overdesign it.
- Use one simple file format as the core of the system. The razor
package set data structure represents a set of packages and is used
for the current installed set, the sets available from upstream
sources, and the set currently being install during a transaction.
Tiered systems such as rpm+yum, deb+apt etc end up duplicating and
reimplementing common operations on packages. Other systems
typically pull in external database libraries to manage the package
meta data and in some cases each layer in the stack uses a
different database dependency to represent essentially the same
data.
- Using external database libraries may seem a good idea up front,
but monotone vs git is a good example of how you need to control
the data structure and the on-disk format to really get excellent
performance. The razor package set data structure is fairly
simple; it's an read-only, mmap()'able on-disk data structure. The
package set has a sorted index of the packages in the set, a sorted
index of all dependencies and a sorted, compact directory of all
files in all the packages. Operations such as merging package
sets, satisfying requires from one set against another can all be
implemented in linear time. Razor implements the package set
representation down to the bytes on the disk and can optimize the
representation and access methods to make the necessary operations
fast and reliable.
- The set of installed packages on a system is represented by just
one package set file. As we install a set of new packages, we
prepare the new package set a temporary file and once the install
has succeeded, we copy the package set file to the real filename.
If there is a system crash, razor will notice the temporary file on
boot and resume the update.
- We want to keep the number of dependencies down in a system critical
component such as the package manager. Between rpm and yum we're
pulling in berkeley db, sqlite, expat, python.
- During update of several packages rpm+yum leaves the system in an
inconsistent state for long periods of time. Power failure in this
window causes critical system corruption. We want to minimize the
window.
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