As Dan has already posted about, pacman-3.4.0 has been released. There are a bunch of new features that I am really enjoying.
Firstly, when updating it database, pacman will only extract the new entries. This is similar to what Xyne’s rebase script does (without all the extra output). I had not realised how awesome this feature was until I updated my chroots this morning. It speeds the process up immensely. The chroots using pacman-3.4 extracted the [extra] repo database with a barely noticeable pause while those using pacman-3.3 took a while.
The other feature that I am enjoying is the addition of a functional ‘which’ to the file ownership query. In the past, to find the owner of a binary in my path I would do something like pacman -Qo $(which makepkg) or provide the full path manually. Now pacman will search for binaries in your path automatically, so this is achieved with pacman -Qo makepkg.
Installing packages with pacman -U
And makepkg also received its share of upgrades. It now automatically exits on build/packaging errors in PKGBUILDs so there is no more need to have “|| return 1” after the commands. Package splitting has improved with pkgver, pkgrel and arch now being able to be overridden and being able to only build subsets of a split package.
Of course, many other features made it into this pacman release. As always, many changes will hopefully never be noticed by a user (e.g. checking a package architecture matches the system architecture before installing, a major rewrite of the pacman bash completion, overhaul of tests in makepkg, more configurable library stripping during packaging), but all these are very useful contributions. See here for a more detailed summary of the changes and the git log for all the details of changes.
A pacman-3.4.0 package is currently in the [testing] repository for Arch Linux. We all know pacman releases are bug free (as the two patches already in the 3.4.1 queue can attest), so look forward to it being in a [core] repo near you in the not too distant future.