Linked by David Adams on Fri 16th Jul 2010 19:43 UTC, submitted by broomfighter
Linux "The Portable Linux Apps project brings the ideal of "1 app, 1 file" to Linux. Applications are able to run on all major distributions irrespective of their packaging systems - everything the application needs to run is packaged up inside of it. There are no folders to extract, dependencies to install or commands to enter: "Just download, make executable, and run!"" A follow-up article describes how it works, and how to transform debian packages into AppImages. The packages don't include libraries, so the system won't need to update the same library in each individual app.
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RE[2]: Nice!
by darknexus on Fri 16th Jul 2010 22:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice!"
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I have never had any problem with package updates and package managers. In fact, I find the package manager system speedier, safer and more convenient than the standard OS-X and Windows methods (and similar Linux methods).


Package updates typically work just fine, I agree. However, the sore spot for many is that there's no dead simple way to install newer versions of a program than the package manager offers. Take OpenOffice for example, if your distribution comes with 3.0 and you want 3.2, currently there are two things you can do on the package manager end:
1. Search for packages of the new OO version you want. If you're dealing with a common package format, like deb or rpm as well as a common enough bit of software like OO, , these usually aren't hard to find. However, dependencies then can become a problem, though thankfully dependency hell isn't as common as it once was. Still, in OO's case it requires downloading many packages, figuring out which ones you need, and installing them. Far more complicated than Windows or OS X. This becomes easier if someone is maintaining a repository for the software of course, but that's comparatively few and not many common software packages are doing this and it's still highly distribution dependent.
2. Upgrade your entire os to get the new software you want. In all honesty, this isn't practical nor should it be, and it's a ridiculous way of operating. This even Apple got right with the iPhone, in that app updates are separated from the os itself. A separation such as this in a Linux system would be invaluable, as then it would be easy to do application software updates separate from system updates.
Of course there are rolling release distributions such as Archlinux (which is what I use) but these generally aren't suited to most computer users. They require somewhat regular updating, and there's always a chance something will break if it hasn't been tested as well as it should.
Considering no one in the Linux community will ever agree on a standard package format, self-contained apps might be the best way to deal with this. If everyone used deb, or rpm, or insert-package-name-here and followed a set list of system dependencies, then installing new software would be easy. As it stands now though, self-contained bundles or statically linked binaries seem to be the only chance of distributing something that will work for sure on 99% of the Linux install base.

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