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Thu, 12 May 2005 21:55:25 -0400 (EDT)
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I am pleased to announce GNU swbis 0.446, available at
The project home page is
The md5 digest is:
The sha1 digest is:
What is swbis
The swbis project is a free and from-scratch GPL'ed implementation of
IEEE 1387.2-1995 Std (Part 2: Software Administration) which describes
a format and utilities for software packaging. [The IEEE standard is
superseded by ISO/IEC 15068-2,1999, and is almost identical to the Open
Group spec CAE C701 which is available on the Open Group(tm) web site.]
The swbis project provides features similar to other packaging systems
such as utilities for package creation, installation, and verification.
However, the implementation of these features are unique in these ways:
* Non-intrusive to current packaging practice because swbis packages
are ordinary tarballs with a prescribed file layout. swbis can cast
this file layout in a minimal form that is non-disruptive to users
of free software packages. In fact swbis has a specific tool,
swign, which signs a directory and then uses GNU tar to create a
IEEE 1387.2 POSIX tar archive that includes a valid embedded
Look Ma! No new tools copying your data, and guess what,
that directory could be your source directory!
* Although swpackage is a self-contained tar writing utility, swbis
aims to be orthogonal with the GNU toolset. swbis uses bash,
tar, and gpg directly.
* Makes no new requirements on system provisioning. swinstall and
swcopy can install to almost any host including minimal hosts and
non-GNU/Linux platforms. At their core they are C programs which
write a shell script able to be read and executed from a Posix's
shell's standard input. No part of swbis is required on the
target host for installation and copying.
* Many parts of swbis are made network transparent by direct use of
ssh. swinstall and swcopy are network transparent and support
a target syntax for multiple host hops.
This release adds major features to swinstall for control script
execution and script exit status recording. Minor features and bug
fixes were added to swpackage, swcopy, swverify and swign.
Current Development State
swbis is alpha software (although many parts are beta). It does,
however, have features which allow correctness to be verified.
GNU tar format mimicry (which makes the swign utility possible)
tests package creation. The RPM package translation capability
allows verification of installed package integrity using rpm and the
Completing swverify and swinstall are top priority. Even though a 0.XXX
release should be considered alpha, every 0.XXX release will be have
passed extensive regression testing. At times there may be bug fix
branch on 0.XXX.YYY Development will proceed along 0.XXX branch up to
0.9XX and a 1.0 release sometime in 2007.
I am working alone, I need help to accelerate design and implementation.
swbis needs users and testers. If you hate swbis, find a unrepairable
critical flaw and let the world know so I can stop wasting my time :)
However, if its fixable I'll fix it and keep right on working. Friendly
criticisms and bug reports are even more welcome.
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