Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 31st Dec 2009 14:13 UTC
Microsoft BetaNews writes: "Microsoft executives and product managers -- Chairman Bill Gates, above all of them -- showed great technology vision for the new millennium. The company was right about so many trends to come but, sadly, executed poorly in bringing too many of them to market. Microsoft's stiffness, perhaps a sign of its aging leadership, consistently proved its foible. Then there is arcane organizational structure, which has swelled with needless middle managers, and the system of group competition".
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RE[3]: not failures, but ...
by thecwin on Sun 3rd Jan 2010 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: not failures, but ..."
thecwin
Member since:
2006-01-04

Sound APIs are pretty much available as standard, and if you want to target some obscure API that isn't supported in a distribution, you just mark it as a dependency or bundle it with the program you're distributing, as you would in Windows. Generally speaking though, if you're targeting Linux, you target ALSA or a higher level API like GStreamer (which is also compatible with Win/Mac). I find that in Linux development, picking an API is very easy and certainly not the most difficult part of any kind of development.

If you just pick one distribution (Ubuntu, Debian and variations) it's just as easy to bundle a proprietary app into a deb as it is to bundle an open source app. Of course, unless you want to release your source, you can't get it built for many architectures to the latest dependencies, and distributed for free in all the package repository mirrors.... but you don't get that service in any other OS either. The fact is that debs aren't too different to an msi or pkg. I find myself missing apt-get and dpkg when developing proprietary stuff on Windows. The challenging bit is that there are distributions that contain different software or use different packaging formats. Generally speaking, if you roll a deb and an rpm targeting a standard LSB system, you *know* you'll be safe. If your user is on a system that doesn't use rpms, debs or isn't LSB compatible, they'll probably know how to get it running without your help.

It is not ideal, and there are things being done to make this easier. The problem with just opening package installation up to people who don't understand it is that users will install stupid things to their system to get free screen savers. Until there is a good way of distributing signed proprietary packages, I think most distribution maintainers want to avoid the problem entirely. Linux distributions are, after all, not a democracy. If people don't like the gods of Ubuntu making it difficult to install things not built by Canonical, they can freely use another distribution or operating system until Ubuntu does it right. Everything open source is by definition possible to interoperate with ;)

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