Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Nov 2007 21:09 UTC, submitted by diegocg
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Canonical is announcing the availability of PPA: a Launchpad-integrated free service which allows anyone to get 1 GB of space to upload whatever software they want. Launchpad will compile it automatically and will set up an apt repository with your package to anyone who wants to use it. Aditionally, PPAs offer bug reporting and translation services.
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Reminds me of Java's JAR hell
by robilad on Wed 28th Nov 2007 18:35 UTC
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Lack of a central repository with policies designed to keep it intact led to everyone effectively statically bundling all their binary dependencies into their applications. That led to a decoupling of the development of dependencies from their users, since they could always simply bundle the binary JARs of the previous version, while the developers were on another API refactoring trip. That in turn made deployment of multiple applications very hard, unless one kept each and every released version of their released dependencies in the system's repository, as subtle changes in the exposed interfaces broke code dependent on them, and no one really cared much about cross-project integration issues.

That horrible state of affairs is something the oen source Java world is trying to get away from, grudgingly, after it took it about 10 years to figure out that ease deployment actually matters, and means something different than 'whack a bunch of semi-arbitrary library binaries together, make it show a green bar in JUnit, and ship it!'.

The only reason I could see something like this making sense for Ubuntu is that they have trouble scaling the free as in beer volunteer resources to cope with the demand from users and developers to see their desired software packages show up in their preferred distribution.

The solution to that is not to decentralize distribution repositories.

Reply Score: 4

wirespot Member since:

The solution to that is not to decentralize distribution repositories.

It happens whether you want it or not. A package repository is just a bunch of files and directories on a FTP or web server. Anybody can start one in 30 seconds if you have a properly composed .deb or .rpm and a meta-description file.

A lot of developers don't want to push their project into the official repositories. It's too much work, too bothersome. So they set up a repo of their own and tell people to add an apt source. Job done.

Canonical is taking this state of fact for what it is. If it's gonna happen anyway, they might as well help. Free hosting, automated compilation and a bug tracker is a very good service. Saves people the time and money to set up their own repo, website and tracker. Google Code or SourceForge do something similar. Canonical's service is simpler and aimed at Ubuntu, which is to be expected.

Reply Parent Score: 2