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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RE[3]: B.A.D idea
by tom1 on Tue 16th Jan 2007 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: B.A.D idea"
tom1
Member since:
2005-07-12

Ubuntu and Debian are the perfect examples showing why decentralised packaging is a BAD idea. If two systems that are so closely related to each other as they are, using the same packaging and installing system, succeed in creating incompatible binary packages, how should a decentralised packaging system solve binary incompatabilities between let's say Red Hat and Debian.

This is exactly why you need a decentralised system: your example is a centralised system failing to cope with packages from two different distributions! It's quite possible to create a system that would handle this situation fine.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: B.A.D idea
by Terracotta on Tue 16th Jan 2007 15:38 in reply to "RE[3]: B.A.D idea"
Terracotta Member since:
2005-08-15

The reason it fails is not because it's a centralised system, it's because you're trying to install a package created for one distribution on another distribution. If that distribution differs too much from the distribution it was created for it might not work. It's perfectly possible to distribute .debs in a decentralised way (opera does it like this). It's a bit more work for opera, but well it's quite easy to install opera on an ubuntu/xandros/mepis/debian/suse... system.
I'd rather see more .deb, or .rpm packages on website than .autopackage packages, for those who insist on installing a program by searching the net and downloading it from a website.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: B.A.D idea
by Tom5 on Wed 17th Jan 2007 22:12 in reply to "RE[4]: B.A.D idea"
Tom5 Member since:
2005-09-17

The reason it fails is not because it's a centralised system, it's because you're trying to install a package created for one distribution on another distribution.

Why do you think it fails, then, if it's not the installation system's fault?

I can install user-mode-linux on a Debian system and then install the Ubuntu package inside that. So it's not a hardware limitation.

I can install Ubuntu in a chroot in my Debian system,
and run it from there, so it's not a kernel issue. I can set DISPLAY to the host system, so it's not an X problem.

So, that leaves just libraries and services (daemons). Libraries can be handled as described in the article.

Services (e.g. mysql) are usually designed to run across different computers, and so have a stable protocol.

In fact, the only thing I can think of is D-BUS (a system service which used to change its API regularly). And now it's gone 1.0 that should be fine too.

Reply Parent Score: 1