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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Sure, the admin just creates a launcher as /usr/local/bin/gimp (man 0alias shows how to create such a short-cut).

Ah, very good.

Or, the admin can add it to the system-wide defaults the Applications menu (how is desktop specific).

Well, no. Any current desktop implements the menu specification.

One can use xdg-desktop-menu to handle the installation of the .desktop file to make sure it is installed correctly (even for intentionally incompatible distributions like Mandriva)

Assuming one has, as with the application launcher, a cross-desktop specification for things like MIME type registration, icon sets, etc., can 0install handled this automatically (provided there are available tools the xdg-utils) or is this always a manual step?

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