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Why the package build system in Arch Linux is cool

February 3, 2010

Thought I would share another reason why I think that Arch Linux is very cool. As I stated earlier, I would stick with Chakra until it died on me, and it has proven rock solid so far!

The reason I find the build system so interesting is because it is so easy. I discovered this when I wanted to install a delcious plugin for Konqueror the other day. I found the plugin in github, and figured it should probably be easy enough to write a PKGBUILD file for it. That was the case, and the result can be seen here.

Why is this so cool? It is because I started to tinker a bit around with the code, to see if I could figure out how to get the plugin to be able to work with OAuth. The PKGBUILD I wrote downloads the latest version from git, so you have git readily available together with the source. If you want to change something in the source, you can just go ahead and do so. When you want to test afterwards, you simply use “makepkg -if” and the package is recreated and installed on your system, ready for you to try in a second (depending on the size of your changes obviously, but you get the idea)! And afterwards you can delete it again with “pacman -R <packagename>”. If I managed to do anything productive with it, I already had the git repository available so I could create a patch and send it to the developers…

This is actually a fantastic way to play around with sourcecode, I bet it would be highly useful for me if I was a programmer that actually managed to do some productive coding! 🙂

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