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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What Linux really needs at this point...
by mnem0 on Tue 16th Jan 2007 09:39 UTC
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What Linux really needs at this point is package generation built into the big IDEs. For instance MonoDevelop and Eclipse needs a plugin each that will let the program select a number of code projects in the workspace. Then, when you build this "packaging project" in the IDE it will generate .rpm, source.rpm, .deb and .tar.gz packages automatically.

If it's THAT easy to generate all the different types of packages then the devs will actually generate all packages. Instead of what we have today, were the big projects (mono etc) typically provides their stuff in all the major packaging formats, while the smaller devs choose their favorite format (and ignore the rest).

Once all projects publish their stuff in (more of less) all the major packaing formats, distros (or users themselves) can stop by at the project website and pickup the package for testing or install/usage.

This "auto packaging" plugin should also generate .msi files for Windows (and whatever Mac uses). Atleast this should be an *option* for Mono and Eclipse which typically generate cross-platform programs. Then if someone creates a Linux-only program with Mono (or hates Windows) he will just not check the "Generate .MSI package" checkbox.

The key is: make it ridiculously easy for the devs to generate top-notch packages.

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