Linked by Tom5 on Tue 24th May 2011 21:13 UTC
Linux Zero Install, the decentralised cross-distribution software installation system, announced 0install 1.0 today, after 8 years in development. 0install allows software developers to publish programs directly from their own web-sites, while supporting features familiar from centralised distribution repositories such as shared libraries, automatic updates and digital signatures. It complements, rather than replaces, the OS's package management. As well as allowing developers to create a single package that works across Linux, BSDs, Mac OS X and Windows, it could help make software available on more minor platforms. OSNews covered decentralised installation systems in 2007.
Permalink for comment 474575
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

Having just visited several seporate websites and update utilities, for newer program versions unvetted by the Windows distribution maintainer, I'm rather happy to get home to my Debian boxes and find all the updates vetted and waiting through a single command.

I don't think the issue is the distribution repository model since anyone can simply setup a third party repository to include in. Webmin and Mondo Rescue both do this with fantastic results, I get there code directly from them but still through my central package manager.

The truly universal package format is still the tarball; crossing distributions, kernel and processor types. Zeroinstall is interesting also though. If it premotes more *nix native development and faster bug/vuln report turn around times without imposing stupid dependencies then have at it. I just don't want my prefered distro to suddenly require bloated crap dependencies imposed by someone elses ideas. (Evolution - a PIM app - required just to display a Gnome desktop? Really? And Debian is inheriting this sillyness from Canonical now it seems.)

In the end though, wouldn't Zeroinstall have to be feeding an abstraction layer like Android apps requiring Dalvik abstraction on top of the OS? The natural differences between distributions would seem to become an issue otherwise where one distro includes dependencies or versions that another does not?

Reply Parent Score: 2