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Packaging code is about sharing

I have been packaging code into RPMs for internal use for about five years now. I'm not going to say I'm an expert at it--I'm still learning--but I'm getting better at it and I think that's a good thing.

Recently I packaged a piece of software that didn't have an existing RPM (AFAIK). I was then able to share that RPM, and installation instructions, with a partner institution so that they could easily install the software as well--in fact with one command. :)

From one perspective it's obvious that packaging software is about sharing. But often I spend so much time just getting the RPM built, which can mean the gruelling process of pulling requirements out of developers who think packaging is...not important or even intrusive, that I forget how it's not just about easing sysadmin maintenance of servers; that it's about being able to share systems and software with peers.

I often wonder where some Linux users think packages come from. Certainly not a big white stork in the middle of the night. Dedicated volunteers (and I don't mean me) are building thousands of packages every day! So hat tip to all those volunteers. Licensing is important, but so is packaging. :)


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