Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
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Dependency issues ARE resolvable as suggested
by Hawkstone on Wed 30th Apr 2003 01:44 UTC

... if you're talking about binary packages.

As much as I hate to give them any credit, typical Windows applications come with everything they need. There are some exceptions to this -- many a game come with DirectX on the CD but are not installed as part of the normal install process.

How does this work? A program is installed in a self-contained directory, and a shortcut to the program is placed somewhere accessible (like the Start Menu). If a program needs Qt (for example), it comes with it and places it in the directory where the program is installed. The OS will look in the binary directory to find needed runtime libraries.

Sure, there are some global system files (windows/system/*.dll), but for the most part these are relegated to drivers, not application level code.

Can this work under Linux? Sure -- I write an app that requires Python and Qt, and the installer includes the runtime libraries. The problem is that Linux will not look for .so's in the binary directory, so the program users run is actually a script which adds to LD_LIBRARY_PATH. Now was that so hard? Just make the OS's loader do the same, and you've fixed that problem so all programs can work this way.

Worried about disk space because you've got 20 copies of some library floating around? That's what the disk space comment he suggested was for -- 20 copies times roughly 10MB a piece is 200 MB. Not too bad to alleviate all versioning issues, huh?

Now if that library is something like Qt where it is part of a window manager (e.g. KDE) and very commonly used, maybe that one library deserves promotion to be "part of the OS", in which case the version had damn well better be stable over time (read: binary compatibility). Otherwise, one copy per package, please....