Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Feb 2007 21:00 UTC, submitted by Dolores Parker
Linux "Zero Install is one of the more promising alternatives to native package systems for Linux distributions, such as RPM and Debian's dpkg. Originally developed by Thomas Leonard, who works in the Department of Electronics and Computing at the University of Southampton, it begins with a criticism of existing package systems the difficulties of using them, and is built to provide an answer to the problems raised by the critique. However, like other alternative package systems, it faces the problems of winning acceptance from the major distributions and fine-tuning its features."
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Comparison with Klilk
by Tom5 on Sat 17th Feb 2007 09:16 UTC in reply to "Interesting..."
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Basically, it's like Klik but:

- The recipes it downloads are XML files, not shell scripts (this is similar to the difference between tar and shar files).

- Zero Install downloads are GPG signed.

- Zero Install is decentralised: you need permission from the Klik maintainers to distribute a Klik package. You don't need anyone's permission to distribute with Zero Install.

- Zero Install can check for updates automatically (by default once a month, but configurable). Klik requires you to check for updates yourself.

- Zero Install handles dynamic linking. This allows upgrading a library to benefit multiple applications, and saves space and bandwidth. It also lets you use a different version of a library if you want. Klik bundles all dependencies into the package (Zero Install also supports this mode of operation if desired).

- Zero Install can share downloads between users safely, using cryptographic digests (only partially implemented at present, though).

- Zero Install supports compiling from source if you want, though not many packages support this yet.

- Zero Install lets you download older versions or programs or libraries. Klik only provides a single version for download, although you can keep using older versions once you've got them.

- Zero Install is fully OSS. Only the Klik client is.

- Klik runs the 'intellipatch' script on downloads, which does a search-and-replace for filename paths in binaries (simple text matching) and changes them. This allows some programs which aren't built to be binary relocatable to work. Zero Install doesn't support this, and requires binaries to be relocatable in the first place.

- Klik has many more packages available right now.

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