Would it make just another package format?
If we follow the idea of autoconf like management, here a
preview list of what a system should provide1 (#Crow_Note1):
Which Files Hierarchies standard.
daemons and start-up script supports.
menu entries registration.
Modules (for Kernel, Interpreters, etc.) registration.
Alternatives registration (like multiple xdm, wm, pager,
Other policies (strip/compression/etc.).
They're much more many things on some system and other
systems also doesn't have half of them. Moreover, those
things can be very different if you packaging for a single
user (without root access), an official release, or for an
For me, the Universal Source Packaging is acheived through
.tar.gz using autoconf or imake or whatever other well
distributed configuration system. Most sources using those
systems are very simple to package and most distribution
have their automated tools to created it at least a good
skeleton for creating the basis of such package (at least,
Debian has). With new standards like the .desktop file,
you can add a lot on those tools even if you don't have a
Gnome or KDE desktop. Just extract the information you need
I think however that including those informations into the
package source is just a supplementary burden for the
developpers, especially with all the platforms they already
needs to support (not only Linux but Sun, HP-UX, AIX, Irix
and even MS-W63K! ;). Except if you have a contributor who
follow the target distribution closely, you got some chance
to finally get a lesser quality package then you should.
So, MHO about all of this is: Yes, this is a good idea
but please! Let's the distros does must of the stuff with
their own tools and be the more abstract possible (think
Take note That I'm a Debian Maintainer. So this is really a "partial" list of what a Debian Maintainer needs to decide when building a package.