alien use patterns

Something interesting has changed in the past couple of years. I used to get my majority of alien bug reports and questions from Debian users. But nowadays, most of them are from users of rpm based distributions who are converting a deb into a rpm. Quite a few seem to be from developers who have a deb and want to make a quickie rpm to distribute.

This is an interesting shift. A few possible reasons for it might include:

  • More developers using Debian.
  • Increase in the percentage of users of RPM based distributions.
  • Increasing clue amoung Debian users leads to less use of alien in places where it can be avoided; slight clue deficit amoung RPM users leads to the inverse.
  • I generally do a worse job supporting alien on RPM based distributions (still doesn't support some newer versions of RPM that are not in Debian). So I hear more from the users of the less supported systems.

(In other news, use of alien to convert stampede packages is way down..)

comment 2
I have another suggestion for what may be driving the change: In the 3+ years I've been using Linux as my primary operating system, it seems to me that more pieces of software that are available on the web but not in standard repos are /just/ distributing binaries in .deb format. Increasingly, it seems, the choice is between .debs and compiling from source.
Comment by Patrick Mooney