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Can anyone recommend about a way to have an up-to-date list of packages?

I know that I can register to the mailing list / RSS feeds (if available) of each and every package, but this creates much more noise than benefit.

The ideal service / software will have a table (grid) with the following columns:
Package name | Installed version | Available version | Release date

The user puts in the package name and installed version, and the date in the other columns is updated automatically.

Using a package manager is fine, but only up to a certain extent.

Prime candidates for such a list are httpd, php, mysql, python and all of their derivatives. It's not that hard to think of additional packages that can join this list.

Any thoughts?

How are you currently managing your various versions?

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You need to clarify what you mean by packages. If you mean packages available for installation on a linux distro, there's a plethora of ways to get this information for each distro. If you mean software releases, you've got mailing lists and so on. If you mean distro packages PLUS stuff like PEAR and CPAN packages that aren't necessarily up to date in your distro, you'll probably need to roll your own solution. –  jeremiahd Jan 2 '12 at 17:29
    
The term 'Package' might have been misleading. You are right to offer several options. What I meant was software releases. The thing is, that getting updates from mailing lists is hardly an intuitive way to manage your installed software, and it lacks the option to have any sort of centralized management. –  bizna Jan 16 '12 at 5:56
    
If you want centralized management, you need to pick one source, and stick with it, unless you want to write your own management scripts. "Software releases" can mean "when a version of the software is released" or "when it is packaged for my distro". If you want to be on top of all of it, you'll need to write something aggregating the method(s) that the relevant programs use to alert their users to new releases. –  jeremiahd Jan 16 '12 at 17:57

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