Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2006 20:49 UTC, submitted by Eugenia
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Is Ubuntu an operating system? Last week at EuroOSCON, Mark Shuttleworth gave the closing keynote outlining what he believes are the major struggles faced by the open-source/free-software community. During his talk, it became clear that Ubuntu is trying to achieve a radical shift in the software world. Ubuntu isn't trying to be a platform for mass-market application software: it is trying to be the primary provider of both the operating system and all the application software that a typical user would want to run on his machine. Most Linux distributions are like this, and I think it is a dangerous trend that will stifle innovation and usability."
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RE: Shuttleworth's right
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 00:04 UTC in reply to "Shuttleworth's right"
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

I don't see how it's "bad for business". And distros ship plenty of third-party stuff with their OSes: VMware is available as an ebuild from Gentoo, for example.

As for MacOS-style app-bundles, don't they include everything the author put in to the app, even libraries which might otherwise be available? Who wants six copies of the same library?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Shuttleworth's right
by Tyr. on Fri 6th Oct 2006 01:02 in reply to "RE: Shuttleworth's right"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't see how it's "bad for business". And distros ship plenty of third-party stuff with their OSes: VMware is available as an ebuild from Gentoo, for example.

Because it's an extra barrier to entry for independants : costs rise per distro you choose to support. Alternatively you could rely on the distro itself to package as you point out, leaving you at the whim of a third party. Perhaps they prefer another package and work on that while delaying the release of your software (eg. a build of bochs available before vmware). Either way for truely independant software companies it is bad news.

As for MacOS-style app-bundles, don't they include everything the author put in to the app, even libraries which might otherwise be available? Who wants six copies of the same library?

Well on OsX you can be certain you have a broad set of basic software available, so it's not as much of a problem as you think. Not so on Linux even with the LSB, which is practically useless. Installed libraries and versions vary wildly.
And what if the user updated some library because another package wouldn't install otherwise and now your package won't install (aka welcome to dependancy hell) ? Having multiple version of the same library installed is a frequent occurance even on Linux.

Software repositories are a hack to work around one of the central problems in Linux and they leave independants in the cold.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Shuttleworth's right
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 01:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Shuttleworth's right"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I've only ever had dependency problems with rpm-based distros. I'm not too hot on them for that reason. I do use and like SuSE, but I keep to the software they have available. I've only got 80Gb on the disk I use in that machine anyway.

Sorry, but I don't accept that "for truly independent software companies it is bad news". If you work on Windows you are at the mercy of Microsoft. Apple may be better than this, but considering they control their architecture even more tightly than MS, I doubt it. The number of software companies that have been double-crossed by MS is legion. Allowing them to get into software like office suites and so on when they already have a monopoly on OSes was a big mistake, in my opinion.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Shuttleworth's right
by Ookaze on Fri 6th Oct 2006 13:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Shuttleworth's right"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

Because it's an extra barrier to entry for independants : costs rise per distro you choose to support. Alternatively you could rely on the distro itself to package as you point out, leaving you at the whim of a third party. Perhaps they prefer another package and work on that while delaying the release of your software. Either way for truely independant software companies it is bad news

Either way it is bad news for your credibility, as what you describe poses no problem to ISV on Unix platforms.
But strangely enough, it is a problem on Linux.

Well on OsX you can be certain you have a broad set of basic software available, so it's not as much of a problem as you think

It's still a big problem. I'd say Linux has even more basic and not basic software, with 15000+ software in repositories.

Not so on Linux even with the LSB, which is practically useless. Installed libraries and versions vary wildly

Which is not a problem at all, as major versions don't vary wildly.

And what if the user updated some library because another package wouldn't install otherwise and now your package won't install (aka welcome to dependancy hell) ? Having multiple version of the same library installed is a frequent occurance even on Linux

The second sentence is the answer to the first question. That's multiple major versions of course. Actually, it's not frequent at all.
Except if you use lots of proprietary stuff, which are never as well supported as FOSS stuff, and always fall behind.
When Nero got out on Linux, it was already worse than nearly anything on my PC (especially K3B). I tried to install it this year to see the difference : it was a pain, I needed very old libraries, and when I made it work, it didn't even detect anything. K3B is far better since then.
Most of the time, the problem with ISV software on Linux is that it's not supported after launch. So stop the BS about problems of installation, this is not the truth at all.

Software repositories are a hack to work around one of the central problems in Linux and they leave independants in the cold

That's BS. Independants are those that leave Linux in the cold. Look at NX software for an example of a good software vendor on Linux.
Now look at Nero, or even Macromedia for very lousy ones. Those are the most common ones. Even Real didn't work without an old gcc (3.3) library (I didn't install the latest version yet, so I don't know if it's still the case).
Meanwhile, my Loki games still work and install without problem (most use OSS instead of ALSA for sound, but it's no problem).

Reply Parent Score: 2