Description of problem:
rpm requires crontabs because of /etc/cron.daily/rpm
crontabs requires /etc/cron.d which is provided by cronie
cronie requires /usr/sbin/sendmail
On a minimal installation (livecd) that is the only reason to have cron and sendmail installed. That is quite unfortunate for something as unimportant as this rpm cron job.
I do like having /var/log/rpm on servers - especially when it is version controlled or included in backups.
But thinking of it I don't think this functionality should be in a low-level package such as rpm. rpm also doesn't log package installations to syslog. So perhaps the functionality is more suitable for yum?
IF this functionality belongs in rpm then rpm (or rpm-libs) should update the file every time a package is installed or removed. The overhead would probably be very very small, and the value of always having an updated file would make it much more useful. But of course, that also raises the question of why rpm -qa can't be used instead.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
I notice that several other packages with /etc/cron*/* files don't require crontabs.
AFAICS that is strictly speaking packaging errors, but I think it is a pragmatic "solution" which rpm could use too.
Perhaps /etc/cron* should be owned by the filesystem package instead ...
This has been fixed in rawhide by splitting the cron-related functionality to separate subpackage. For F11 this is a WONTFIX however: the packaging split is not an appropriate change in an update, and I'm not going to introduce deliberate packaging errors in the form of unowned directories.
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 500722 ***