IPS == FAIL
Look, I really, really wanted to avoid entering the packaging debate. I mean, its an emotional decision, right?
Well, its supposed to be.
Except that I've spent nearly an entire day trying to figure out how to onu the latest illumos gate (which includes Rich Lowe's b147 merged in). I have gate changes that I desperately need to test in the context of a full install. (Well, I could say "screw it", and just test the bits in place -- which I've already done, but that's hardly a complete test.) I can't test them. Because I can't figure out how to use the packaging system to install them. And neither can our resident IPS expert, Rich Lowe.
This is no longer an emotional decision for me. Yeah, there are a lot of "emotional" things not to like about IPS. (It forces a dependency upon Python; its still immature; it seems to fail if you are disconnected from the network; it doesn't seem possible to build and install "just" a single package; apparently there are a lot of magic incantations that nobody outside of the IPS developers really understands; etc.) I was willing to set aside all those "emotional" responses and use IPS, if it worked. If for no other reason than the fact that it did away with BFU I have been willing to give it my best effort. But the latest situation has left me dead in the water, and apparently NO ONE can help me.
Look, I'm not a complete moron. (Well, maybe you disagree with me, but this is my blog.)
I should be able to make this work. If I cannot, then what kind of barrier is this going to create for participation from other people? Is Rich Lowe going to hold the hands of everyone else to get past these issues?
What happens the next time the pkg folks introduce another flag day?
This is unacceptable.
I'd like to hear other solutions. At the moment, I'm very very seriously considering gutting the IPS build requirements and having illumos go back to building SVR4 packages natively, using a tool to convert IPS meta data. (So meta data would be IPS, but binary deliverable would be auto-generated SVR4 packages.)
The current situation reminds me of Linus' comments about CVS. I feel the same way about IPS right now. I'm very angry ... the tools that are supposed to facilitate development have caused it to cease for me. If the only way for me to move forward is to reinvent SVR4 build systems, then that's what I'll do.
IPS is a failed science experiment. I don't see how it is going to get widespread adoption from anyone (ISVs or otherwise) with it as it stands today.
Flames to /dev/null. Let me know if you have a solution though.
Update: Rich was finally able to get me to the point of working. Although I can't ever downgrade. After what I just went through, I never want to. I'm really terrified that nobody really understands the steps it took to get me to a working state, and I am unwilling to force others to go through the same nightmare. So I'm still made at IPS, and I still think we need to unhitch the illumos cart from it.