Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2006 20:49 UTC, submitted by Eugenia
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Is Ubuntu an operating system? Last week at EuroOSCON, Mark Shuttleworth gave the closing keynote outlining what he believes are the major struggles faced by the open-source/free-software community. During his talk, it became clear that Ubuntu is trying to achieve a radical shift in the software world. Ubuntu isn't trying to be a platform for mass-market application software: it is trying to be the primary provider of both the operating system and all the application software that a typical user would want to run on his machine. Most Linux distributions are like this, and I think it is a dangerous trend that will stifle innovation and usability."
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RE[2]: Shuttleworth's right
by Tyr. on Fri 6th Oct 2006 01:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Shuttleworth's right"
Tyr.
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't see how it's "bad for business". And distros ship plenty of third-party stuff with their OSes: VMware is available as an ebuild from Gentoo, for example.

Because it's an extra barrier to entry for independants : costs rise per distro you choose to support. Alternatively you could rely on the distro itself to package as you point out, leaving you at the whim of a third party. Perhaps they prefer another package and work on that while delaying the release of your software (eg. a build of bochs available before vmware). Either way for truely independant software companies it is bad news.

As for MacOS-style app-bundles, don't they include everything the author put in to the app, even libraries which might otherwise be available? Who wants six copies of the same library?

Well on OsX you can be certain you have a broad set of basic software available, so it's not as much of a problem as you think. Not so on Linux even with the LSB, which is practically useless. Installed libraries and versions vary wildly.
And what if the user updated some library because another package wouldn't install otherwise and now your package won't install (aka welcome to dependancy hell) ? Having multiple version of the same library installed is a frequent occurance even on Linux.

Software repositories are a hack to work around one of the central problems in Linux and they leave independants in the cold.

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