Linked by Thomas Leonard on Tue 16th Jan 2007 00:32 UTC
General Development In the Free and Open Source communities we are proud of our 'bazaar' model, where anyone can join in by setting up a project and publishing their programs. Users are free to pick and choose whatever software they want... provided they're happy to compile from source, resolve dependencies manually and give up automatic security and feature updates. In this essay, I introduce 'decentralised' installation systems, such as Autopackage and Zero Install, which aim to provide these missing features.
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RE[2]: B.A.D idea
by draethus on Tue 16th Jan 2007 09:22 UTC in reply to "RE: B.A.D idea"
draethus
Member since:
2006-08-02

Guess what? Developers hate packaging!

Yes, mostly because they have to build 1 package per version of each distro. On Windows, they build one package alltogether.

Distributors, on the other hand, are essentially packaging machines. Packaging is what they do best.

Not by a long shot. A frightening amount of packaging is done by people who don't know what they're doing. Wine, for example, comes with wineserver, a per-user server that handles things like inter-process synchronization, which is started on-demand by wine and exits when wine itself exits. A while back, some distro put wineserver in an initscript (it's a server, right?) and tried to run it on startup, as root!

Like autopackage put it, it makes no more sense for a distro to do packaging than for them to do artwork and GUI design for the app.

Why not leave things as they are? Let the developers code, and let the distributors package.

Developers need feedback from users, and getting feedback from a version you released 6-12 months ago is worse than useless.

Distributors produce one package for one version of one distro - an absolute vendor lock-in.

Distributors have to put in extra work packaging, testing, dealing with bug reports - and that's for each distro. Tonnes of wasted effort being the middle man.

Making a DEB or RPM is an absolute waste of your time - it works today but not tomorrow, it works on this box but not on that one.

The sad thing is, solutions existed for years now, and end users love them (autopackage website gets 500-1000 hits per day), but distros would rather die than implement them.

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