The original CSW packaging effort was created by Philip Brown, back in the beginning of 2002, to meet some core needs and principles, that were not getting met by any other available source or service.
The core principles have been reduced to a rather simplistic form on the main standards page, as, “To provide a straightforward, easy-to-use experience for the user”. However, from time to time, it is good to be reminded of the full reasons why CSW was started, since these core principles are as valid now, as they were back then.
- To make packages that are easy to use for “novice” users. The software should self-configure as much as is both possible and sensible.
- To make packages that are friendly to large sites. This includes(but is not limited to):
- Accomodating NFS-sharing out the top directory, /opt/csw, in read-only mode)
- Being aware that users are not always just living in the local /etc/passwd file
- Recognizing that sometimes, you want a demon installed, but not configured
- Consistently supporting all “current” Solaris releases equally well. (This means “the latest release, and all the prior revs supported by Sun”)
- Consistently supporting all hardware that is officially supported by the above Solaris releases
- Having a useful, public, bugtracking & feedback mechanism for improvements to packages
In summary, CSW packages should be as useful to a “newbie” solaris user, as they are to the 10-year veteran in a “fortune 500″ company. Neither should be favoured to the detriment of the other.
Tech note: the “accomodating NFS-sharing out /opt/csw”, means that whenever reasonable, a single package for all solaris revs of a cpu, is preferred over multiple versions of a package. In this way, a site can NFS-share out a single “full install” of /opt/csw to Solaris 9, and 10 machines equally. Having a single filesystem, instead of multiple, is much more efficient use of NFS-server caching.