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 Terracotta on Tue 16th Jan 2007 11:35 UTC in reply to "RE: B.A.D idea"
Terracotta
Member since:
2005-08-15

Ubuntu and Debian are the perfect examples showing why decentralised packaging is a BAD idea. If two systems that are so closely related to each other as they are, using the same packaging and installing system, succeed in creating incompatible binary packages, how should a decentralised packaging system solve binary incompatabilities between let's say Red Hat and Debian.

The problem this article about decentralised installation tries to solve is a closed-source problem. If an open-source programmer can't get his open source program into the main tree of distributions, he can provide .deb and .rpm packages. The user can install them quite easily (richt click: install package (in kubuntu and ubuntu that is)), and i.e. apt-get will search for dependencies on the centralised system. It's more work for the maintainer in the beginning (and a lot of work for closed-source programmers to provide .debs and .rpms for all distro's, Opera seems to like this way of working though), but afterwards when distributions start packaging his program he'll get more peer review by actual programmers who compile and support his packages.

This week seems to be about porting problems from the windows world to the FOSS world. First backward compatibility and now binary compatibility. They are only problems to people who want the latest and greatest.

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