Panu’s Big Mistake

Noticed with some amusement that “my” decision to revert the provides as implicit obsoletes behavior in has been classified as “Panu’s Big Mistake” at

Jeff has been insisting that the implicit obsoletion is intended and desirable feature but everybody else disagrees – if you look at various distributions shipping rpm >= 4.2, practically all of them have reverted that particular change. Except for Red Hat, and if you know a little bit about RPM history, it’s not hard to guess why. Yes, RH based distros have survived this four year period, but there have been endless complaints about the behavior. Some from surprised users, but mostly from packagers who find the implicit obsoletes very much unexpected and frustrating behavior as it prevents all sorts of otherwise useful packaging schemes. It hurts especially compatibility packages but there are other cases as well.

Sure, it was me who eventually applied the behavior reverting patch, but only following a lengthy discussion on the matter where the only concern people really had was the timing of the change, not the change itself. Various folks have been actually applausing the decision. The mistake here is firmly in the eye of the beholder…

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