Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Mon 11th Jan 2010 15:57 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews A few weeks ago, we asked for the OSNews community to help with some questions we were going to ask Aaron Griffin from the Arch Linux team, and the response was glorious and somewhat phenomenal. We added those questions to our own and sent them on over, and then we were surprised by receiving not only Aaron Griffin's responses but answers from various individuals from the team.
Permalink for comment 403701
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Ugh
by Laurence on Tue 12th Jan 2010 13:44 UTC in reply to "Ugh"
Member since:

This is what I don't like about Linux:

What part of the Arch Linux development is the most active?
Thomas B├Ąchler: Definitely the package update monkeys.
Allan McRae: Packaging.

Aaron Griffin: Packaging is by far the most active part, followed closely by Pacman development.

A total waste of man-hours. Windows and OSX are much more efficient in that the developer builds a single package and it's ready for use.

They seem like a competent team but good lord why do all these people want to work on building packages for yet another general purpose distro? My god so boring.

Actually, for FOSS this methodology makes perfect sense:
* nobody knows the distro better than the developers behind the distro. So it makes sense that nobody is better qualified to build distro targeted packages than the distro maintainers
* You can't expect application developers to build dozens of packages for every single distro out there. They simply don't have the time nor the motivation. So instead they should be concentrating on making the application itself as complete as possible
* If you expect application developers to build the packages, then you'd find some distros would lack basic applications because the application developers happen to dislike some distros thus give said distros lower priority in packaging.
* FOSS software doesn't just run on Linux. There's *BSDs, OpenSolaris and even a few non-*nix OSs out there that also run FOSS software. Are you seriously going to expect application developers to port to every open source platform including ones that they've never even run, let alone have development experience of?

The difference between Windows and Linux is windows does not provide any kind of package downstream - so MS are effectively washing their hands of any responsibility and expecting:
* the developers to build their own deployment packages (thankfully there's numerous tools out there to assist)
* and the users to have enough knowledge to differentiate between safe packages and malware.

Sometimes the Windows model works - sometimes it doesn't. eg:
* the icon mess on the desktop, start menu and quick launch,
* the way how standards (like where application profile settings are stored) change from one application to another)
* the fact that I have to spend as much time googling applications to find download links as I do actually installing the application.

So as much a waste of man-hours as you might perceive it - I'd always prefer the OS maintainers to control the package deployment any day (and just so long as I have the option to override their catalogue should the rare occasion occur that I need to)

Edited 2010-01-12 13:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2