I hate to resurrect this thread, but here goes. A quote from Jesse Keating's
most recent blog post: http://jkeating.livejournal.com/15151.html
speaking about FC5Test3):
"As far as infrastructure goes, this will be the first release using the new
unified SRPMs layout that I have been working on. No longer will each arch
have its own SRPM CD set. There will be one global source/ directory and
within it there will be a SRPMS/ dir and an iso/ dir. The isos being made
from the SRPMS/. The SRPMS/ directory will have repodata so that yum can be
used to obtain srpms. Also I have removed the debug/ directory from the os
directory where it used to live. Now the debug/ is on the same level as os
and contains its own repodata and repoview content. I wanted to separate
debug packages from core packages so that end users don't have to process
the repo info for all the debug packages when they are using yum. So now
those of you that need to debug stuff you can enable the debug repo and the
srpm repo and be able to do these tasks in an easier way. This also makes it
easier for mirrors to elect not to mirror debug or source content. This
means we may have to munge the mirror list a bit. For this reason (and
possibly others) the debug and source repos are pointed directly to
. I urge you to check with a local mirror to see
if they are mirroring that content and if so change to use that mirror. It
will lessen the load on d.f.r.c and hopefully provide packages to you in a
Does this mean that FC5 will have the capability to do what many people in
this thread thought would be a great feature of yum? That is, in FC5 will we
now be able to type something along the lines of: yum install metacity.src.
And then yum would download that src.rpm and all its dependencies? If so,
this is great! Thanks to Jesse and whoever else cooperated to implement this
feature. Just this small enhancement, I think, will encourage more
developers to play around with the sources of their favorite RPMs. This
feature makes it that much easier and more intuitive to get access to the
To "preach" a little. The whole idea of free software means having easy
access to the source. This is still something which I think no distro has
really focused on making an integrated part of the distribution process.
Maybe this is a start. I don't know about other packaging systems, but it
seems most if not all RPM based distros have two separate worlds. One in
which the binary packages exist and another where the source packages exist.
Unification of these two worlds is certainly something worth striving for.
Any feature that makes it easier for developers to get up and running on the
given platform is worth implementing.
I guess the next logical progression of this feature would be to have a tool
that "disassembles" the SRPMs so that one could cd to some standard
directory and be able to fix some bugs in the source and then re-compile the
changes (knowing headers, etc. of depended-on libraries are already in place
so the build is successful). Probably something like this already exists?
My current perception of being able to develop software that's part of the
Fedora environment means one needs intimate knowledge of RPM and its various
spin off utilities. At least now it seems like a user-friendly tool like yum
is going to assist in actually getting the SRPMs onto one's machine. Can
Jesse or someone else expand on what this new feature really means if my
impression is totally off-base?