Stampede Linux Package Format Announcement

Jacob Moorman, Marble Horse Free Software Group

April 5, 2000

The Stampede Linux (or Stampede GNU/Linux) distribution has been under active development since 1997. The Stampede Linux Package (SLP) file format has been used by the distribution for several years. The SLP format has been designed to be a simplistic, non-intrusive format, focusing on baseline functionality and ease-of-use.

The SLP file format has undergone several changes in years past. SLP version 5 (SLPv5) is currently in active use by the Stampede Linux distribution. Minimal development effort has been expended in enhancing the SLPv5 tools over the last year-and-a-half. All time spent involved in package format development has been invested in the next-generation SLP format, SLPv6.

As result of a number of critical deficiencies in Stampede's packaging format development efforts, members of the Marble Horse Free Software Group (MHFSG) have become active in addressing issues with the SLP format over the last three months.

The primary deficiencies of SLPv5 include:

Based on analysis of members of the MHFSG, it has been concluded that further development of the SLPv6 format is no longer practical. No active effort has been placed in SLPv6 development within the last six months; the code base has become stagnant. The primary deficiencies of SLPv6 include:

Based on these conclusions, members of the Marble Horse Free Software Group, a distribution-independent development entity, have been active in the development of a replacement for the SLPv5 suite. The enhanced SLPv5 format, SLP version 5A (SLPv5a), features a number of security-enhancing features, dependencies, a written specification and a documented design plan. Development of the SLPv5a standard by an independent development group may enhance the possibilities of other development projects adopting SLP and shall enable impartial, professional pursuit of package format enhancements.

A schedule for the release of initial SLPv5a materials has been established:

Further development and maintenance of the SLPv5a suite shall be continued by the Marble Horse Free Software Group following the announced schedule of events. Comments, questions and concerns regarding this project may be directed to [email protected]

Jacob Moorman
Project Lead, Marble Horse Free Software Group
[email protected]