Great idea, because Nekoware, while excellent to have it at all, had a number of problems. The primary ones I disliked was uncertainty of availability or speed of mirrors (sometimes no mirrors available at all), packages which always include source and can't be downloaded without it, and lack of human coordination around packages which ultimately resulted in the most useful packages not even found in Nekoware main repo, but in either beta repository or in users' individual folders.
Do you plan to use MIPSpro or GCC?
Would you keep descript.ion format for package lists or not?
In any case, regarding the package manager:
1) There is currently a command-line tool for Nekoware which properly parses dependencies and downloads and installs packages:
http://techpubs.spinlocksolutions.com/i ... installer/
The particular strong points of this script are:
- Coded in Perl so that it works on default Irix installation and the old Perl version that ships with Irix (one can download the script itself with the help of built-in Netscape (or even Perl LWP's alias "GET"? I didn't check...) and the script does not need any external dependencies
- Works on both Linux and Irix (on Linux you can both list and download packages, you just can't run "inst")
- Parses dependencies 100% correctly, even though Nekoware's descript.ion contains bug in syntax in a couple places
- Includes a built-in downloader, so it can download files on its own without external dependencies even before a person manages to install wget
- Places all downloaded files in a single directory, so if some packages are already downloaded, it does not download them again, and it can resume partial downloads
Minor drawbacks of this script:
1.1) The original idea was that a person runs 'nekodeps.pl <packages...>' and the script generates a shell script which can then be ran to download files and run "inst", but even immediate download and install is supported. So if this script would be used as a package manager, then obviously the default mode should be changed to running immediately, rather than outputting a shell script.
1.2) While currently the script avoids downloading files twice (thanks to using wget's -c option which skips files if they are already downloaded), it does not actually run "versions" to see which dependencies are already installed, so that it doesn't have to mention or check them at all. This is easy to add.
Finally, the problem of inst itself is that even in the latest Irix, running "inst" with a couple "-f" arguments (a couple tardists at once) often results in inst failing for random reason. (If a person then re-runs the line or manually opens the missing tardists while inside inst shell, it works fine.). So this is a work-aroundable problem, but not very user friendly. I suspect it would work much better if drawback #1.2 above is fixed so that it runs inst -f on as few packages as necessary, and if packages are optimized to not include source, so downloading, opening, and installing them would be much quicker.
2) Regarding porting dpkg and apt-get to Irix, I played with this extensively some time ago, and these programs depend on a number of other programs which I got working on Irix to a pretty good extent, but some of them I simply couldn't get to work, and also the list of those small dependencies which are taken as granted in Linux (yet which are troublesome to get working under Irix) is huge.