Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Jun 2008 22:31 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Linux Earlier this week, we reported on the Berlin Packaging API, an effort to consolidate the various different packaging formats and managers in the Linux world. Many compared this new effort to PackageKit, and today is running an article detailing what PackageKit exactly is, with a few quotes from the project's lead developer, Richard Hughes.
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There is no spoon
by Moonbuzz on Thu 26th Jun 2008 09:19 UTC
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I, again, can't understand the constant fetish with packaging systems. There is an overall standard, and its being in use by everyone, and hence you can take source code written and compiled on, say, Ubuntu and build it on Fedora, or Gentoo, or even FreeBSD, and to some points, Windows/Mac/Solaris/Etc.
The standards are in the programming languages, their implementation (e.g. gcc for C/C++, Perl, Python, the JVM, and others), and make for the install. Whatever Distro creator X wants to do with that, is his/her choice, package maintainers for X should not concern themselves with how packages are being handled in Y. It is sufficient that Y users can take the source and repackage it themselves.

The issue is not with GNU/Linux, or with Debian/APT, or with Ubuntu, or Fedora/SUSE/Mandrake/RPM or with Slackware, or with Gentoo. The issue is with user a complaining that his friend, user b has "this cool app running on his Linux and I can't find it on Synaptic/Yum/whatever, and why can't it be like Windows where everyone can run the same app etc. etc."

A distro isn't a "version", or a "flavour" of Linux any more than Mac OSX is a version of BSD Unix. A GNU/Linux distro is an OS. Ubuntu is an OS, Fedora is an OS, Gentoo is an OS, and so on. Microsoft delivers the OS, but not make sure third-party apps install well, or play well, or doesn't do strange hijinks to your computer. GNU/Linux package maintainers do. Microsoft doesn't make sure software that ran on SP 1 is also running on SP 2. GNU/Linux package maintainers do. The whole packaging system, from the packaging methods, the format, to the distribution and maintenance process is way more powerful and empowering for a user, for instance, the project, offering fully compatible Ubuntu packages for those who want the latest and greatest in software, and are dissatisfied with the official repository.

Bottom line? There is no packaging issue. There is the issue of Linux pundits trying to refer to GNU/Linux as if it was a homogeneous OS such as Mac OSX or Microsoft Windows, for marketing reasons, or similar, while it isn't, it's a big, wide range of OS based on same tools and standards and a on UNIX-compatible kernel, other than that, its a matter of diverging philosophies, ideals, concepts, design and opinions. Those are hard to market, but pointing the finger at the diversity of the GNU/Linux-FreeBSD as the main issue is false.

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