Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Oct 2007 21:54 UTC, submitted by Flatland_Spider
PC-BSD Two reviews of PC-BSD 1.4. The first one concludes: " If you are a new user, there is everything here for you; equally so if you are an experienced techie you can get into the FreeBSD ports tree and compile to your hearts content. Something for everyone here, no matter their level of knowledge or expertise." The second one: "PC-BSD is an extremely user friendly and secure BSD, based on the rock solid FreeBSD 6.2 stable core, with a easy to use package management system, a friendly installation GUI and great hardware recognition. It is easy enough for average users and interesting enough for advanced users."
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RE[2]: It's ok.
by zugu on Wed 3rd Oct 2007 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE: It's ok. "
zugu
Member since:
2007-08-28

Wow, I'm extremely surprised someone said it.
PC-BSD is the ONLY *NIX distribution that got it right. Having bottled applications is the way to go.
PBIs make it easier to develop, deploy, use and maintain software. Everything is in one place, no dependency hell at all, both the developer and the user don't even have to care about what's already installed on the system and what's not.

Windows got it right: there's no central "repository", except for maybe updates and security patches. The software market is free and sky is the limit. Mac OS X made it trivial: just download the container and run the application. It's as simple as that.

Whereas in Debian, Fedora or Ubuntu one has to upgrade the whole operating system just to get the latest version of Firefox or other basic piece of software. This approach is stupid, clumsy, messy and definitely a turn-off for users coming from the Mac or Windows world.

Of course, changing this paradigm in a Linux distro nowadays is almost impossible: the sheer number of libraries needed for various software could easily bring a modern HDD to its knees, not to mention the amounts of RAM required. But who am I to argue, when we all know "choice is good". Look where aimless development has brought the Linux world: in chaos. I am not arguing for voluntary boycott of toolkits, libraries or programming languages, but for more responsibility on behalf of developers and less ego.

Security issues are indeed more easier to fix when using a centralized package management system, however, that does not mean it's impossible or even hard to fix them when we use the decentralized approach. Staying current with the latest vulnerabilities should be the developer's job. Installing the security updates from upstream should be the user's job.

Since we're discussing package management, lame excuses like "you can always compile the software you want" are just that: lame. Compiled software is software the package manager is NOT aware of. Worse, try installing Firefox 2 on Dapper or Firefox 3 on Gusty - whether compiled or installed from a deb - it's the same thing. The means of installation are irrelevant, what's certain is you now have a more recent version of Firefox that can break the fragile ecosystem in the OS. Same for any software the Ubuntu Backports team refuse to backport. They clearly state they won't backport vital software since there's a high chance something will go wrong.

Centralized models such as Ubuntu's are a developer's hell. How is one supposed to write software for a constantly moving "platform"? Every six months the applications have to undergo major changes just to be compatible with the new release.

Where's the base system? Oh, right, there is none. The software on the install CD is just a part of a repository that is a snapshot frozen in time of whatever was available at the moment of the release. These guys managed to b0rk the definition of an operating system by trying to shove every existing piece of software in the repositories. A tedious, sisiphyc task that can be easily avoided if a decentralized model is used. Hell for testers, hell for package maintainers, hell for users.

And when something like PC-BSD appears the zealots bash it just because it's different. How about you continue to use your Debians, your Fedoras and your Ubuntus and leave PC-BSD alone?

FYI, I am not a PC-BSD user, because I dislike KDE. But I can praise real achievements when I see them. Kudos to the PC-BSD team for daring to create the PBI system in a world full of ignorance.

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