Toward a common Package Manager
This is a collection of notes, that I expect will progress from the perspective of a naive outsider to resigned pessimism. I started it as a naive outsider just to keep notes, and I hope that the document will remain accessible for other naive outsiders when complete. I suppose it's also a remote possibility that we might actually make progress toward the stated goal, as well.
One of the major incompatibilities between competing Linux distributions is their [package format]. Red Hat uses
rpm packages; Debian and Ubuntu use
deb packages; slackware uses tarballs (following particular conventions?); experimental package formats cause whole new distributions to arise, for example NixOS. Non-Linux systems have package management tools as well: FreeBSD has a ports/packages system; MacOS uses pkg files; Windows uses MSI files.
Furthermore, most of the popular system package formats are built around the idea that the software they install will be the only version and only