Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 15th Mar 2009 12:46 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes PolishLinux has an editorial on program installation on Linux systems, and even though it's a bit hard to wade through (the author's native language sure isn't English) it does make a number of very good points in favour of the way most Linux systems handle things. Still, as always in the discussion on program installation, it always feels a bit like listening to a discussion between a deaf and a blind man about whose condition is the easiest to live with.
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Where would you put the point of difference? As far as I know, (some?) Linux package managers even treat the kernel as a package (that can be upgraded, for example), and I think I would consider this to be system software.

Yes, the kernel is undoubtedly system software. Can't get much more system than that! Definitely package manager material. Oh, and that's a big difference between BSD and Linux of course -- most distros upgrade the kernel just like any package.

Furhtermore, many of today's user applications may have an impact on system software, or at least require certain functionalities in it.

Yes, this is an issue. That's why I think the app bundle system needs to be aware of the package management system. It needs to be a layer above it.

I may disagree. I'm using FreeBSD's package managing tools (pkg_*) as well as the additional software portupgrade (expecially with its tools portinstall, portupgrade and pkgdb) to keep my user applications up to date, without any problems.

Fair enough -- us geeks can get by with that ;) I'm a big Archlinux fan myself -- I love the simplicity (the "Arch Way"). However, the simplicity seems to break down when it comes to graphical applications. Package managers are a great help when you're already at a terminal, but we need something more from a graphical environment.

I was given a Mac for work a while back, so I've been using MacOS X for a while now. It's far from perfect, but it's incredible how easy it is to install an application bundle. The problem with OS X is that not all software works as a bundle, and for those packages Apple has opted for an installer system that's more broken than Windows'.

But as always, keep in mind that computers aren't easy. The person who is doing the neccessary administration should know what to do, and if it's an "average user" (those who use Linux are in fact at least advanced users already), he should first educate himself what to do and how.

Yeah, that's the problem -- I sick of needing to apply advanced understanding of computers when I need to install software. It should be such a simple task!

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