Linked by Thomas Leonard on Tue 16th Jan 2007 00:32 UTC
General Development In the Free and Open Source communities we are proud of our 'bazaar' model, where anyone can join in by setting up a project and publishing their programs. Users are free to pick and choose whatever software they want... provided they're happy to compile from source, resolve dependencies manually and give up automatic security and feature updates. In this essay, I introduce 'decentralised' installation systems, such as Autopackage and Zero Install, which aim to provide these missing features.
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yay!
by zhulien on Tue 16th Jan 2007 01:36 UTC
zhulien
Member since:
2006-12-06

I say this all the time on digg and only get dugg down. Sadly the greater linux community doesn't like the idea of not having to install software. Installation of software is a pathetic idea which Windoze and Linux seem to embrace. Luckily for MacOS and AmigaOS, it isn't usually a necessity to run an installer of any type - thank god these two OSs exist.

Reply Score: 1

RE: yay!
by cerbie on Tue 16th Jan 2007 04:17 in reply to "yay!"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Hiding what it's doing means it's not installed? The files it saves its settings to don't count for installation, nor in some cases the virtual mounting thingie (yeah, I forgot the term)? It's nice packaging (I think still better than Klick), but is no more not installed than any other OS--the interface is just really simple, right down the file level.

For ports and things not available in such nice packages, it's generally more difficult. Of course the idea of using many directories off the root at the same time for a piece of software, rather than those being within it, is partly to blame (but it can save space).

IMO, since a Linux distro has finite software available in the repository, you should have all of it available through the GUIs, with some indicator that it is not installed, ten installing it upon first run. This would make things easy as a user, and still not annoyingly hide things if you want to do it some other way; or look inside.

Then, for third-party, just have scripts to support use of RPM and/or similar from the file managers (as in, you click, and it installs, and if the info is in there, even runs--I'm not sure of all the metadata in them).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: yay!
by butters on Tue 16th Jan 2007 04:17 in reply to "yay!"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Huh? The only alternative to installing software is SaaS (software as a service). Even dragging and dropping a compressed archive falls under the category of software installation.

No, I don't think I'm being pedantic here. The first time I had to install software on a Mac, it took me a little while to figure out how to get it to install the software permanently rather than run it out of the disk image. Even then it didn't add the program to the Dock automatically. It made me feel stupid that I had mastered Gentoo yet had problems with the "intuitive" MacOS X. I'm not saying it's harder to install software on a Mac than on other systems, but it's not 100% intuitive for everybody. Very few things are.

Further, how do I keep my system up to date? Is there a single command or button? What if the upstream distributor moves to a different web address? Why should I trust a third party to deliver software that integrates nicely with the rest of my system?

I think that searching the web and downloading some compressed archive is a pathetic idea from "Windoze" and MacOS X. Package management takes the guess work out of finding, installing, and updating software, while providing some protection against malicious packages, I might add.

To each his own... but I personally feel that the most challenging aspect of package management for newbies is that it's different.

I see why you get "dugg down" a lot. Notice how you make a strong assertion and then back it up with nothing? You could be right, but you're not going to change anyone's mind like this.

Edited 2007-01-16 04:19

Reply Parent Score: 5