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: Great article, but...
by tom1 on Tue 16th Jan 2007 12:38 UTC in reply to "Great article, but..."
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However, one flaw I see in your implementation is the cryptographically-derived naming of folders. In the beginning of the article, you point out that non-hash-derived identifyers are much more easily user-readable, yet later on you claim that end-user "Alice" will be willing to go to the Gimp homepage, look up the appropriate hash and compare it to hash-name of the folder that "Bob" installed on the hard drive. Yeah, right!

I should have been clearer: the installation system does this on behalf of Alice. It gets the hash from the XML file describing the Gimp; all Alice has to do is find the link to the XML file.

Likewise, the certificate verification dialogue box doesn't seem too user-comprehensible or foolproof--especially considering that the user is told the database is "Unreliable"!

Right. Ideally, there should be multiple feeds for this information. Currently, there's only mine, which is "unreliable" because I don't have the resources to check out people's keys or offer any compensation if I'm wrong.

This is certainly an area where a commercial company could add value, but without having to start their own distribution (as they'd have to do now).

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