Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Jan 2008 21:51 UTC
Linux "Curtis Knight, Isak Savo, and Taj Morton are the lead maintainers and developers of autopackage, a set of tools designed to let developers build and distribute distribution-neutral installation packages. In this interview, they share their vision of the project and where Linux packaging in general is going."
Thread beginning with comment 296614
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
...
by Hiev on Thu 17th Jan 2008 23:29 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I don't see this as the better solution, Linux should have a standar package format by now.

Edited 2008-01-17 23:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by Joe User on Thu 17th Jan 2008 23:49 in reply to "..."
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

The only advantage of Autopackage is for people who don't have access to the Internet. They can go to a cybercafe, grab themselves a few packages on a USB flash key, and when they arrive at home, they can copy the packages and install them without the need for a connection to the Internet. This would be a lot more painful with RPMs for instance.

Otherwise, installing a package is simple already, just launch your favorite package manager, type the name of your application, click "Install", wait 5 minutes and you're done.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by Bobthearch on Fri 18th Jan 2008 04:09 in reply to "RE: ..."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

OT: I have no idea why your post was rated -1. It's not off topic, insulting, or spam. Maybe people just don't like you?

Anyway, I boosted it up to "0". I think there may be some bugs to work out in the new OSNews rating system...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: ...
by MechR on Fri 18th Jan 2008 04:32 in reply to "RE: ..."
MechR Member since:
2006-01-11

That's if the software you want is in your distro's repository, which isn't always the case. For example, when I last used Mepis and Ubuntu (several releases ago), XnView debs were hard to find. And mplayerplug-in packages were out of date for a long while.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: ...
by weirdnut on Fri 18th Jan 2008 11:16 in reply to "RE: ..."
weirdnut Member since:
2006-01-19

The only advantage of Autopackage is for people who don't have access to the Internet. They can go to a cybercafe, grab themselves a few packages on a USB flash key, and when they arrive at home, they can copy the packages and install them without the need for a connection to the Internet. This would be a lot more painful with RPMs for instance.

Otherwise, installing a package is simple already, just launch your favorite package manager, type the name of your application, click "Install", wait 5 minutes and you're done.


I love these replies. They are such a dead end. It's simply not possible to put all applications out there in the repository of your favorite package manager. Sometimes because the software is commercial and sometimes just because there's no packager for it.

Most of the time you end up with either the source code with ridiculous build and/or issue solving times, or a flaky package with a custom solution.

Kind of ironic. People praise OSS not only for freedom, but als for standards. Well, having the need to install your required software from three different package managers, a custom installer solution and from source, surely ain't no standard at all.

Five minutes? Simple? Quick? Pah, if you're lucky and use your average OSS software only: yes. When you've got different needs than tweaking settings, watching windows burn (yes, pun intended), programming or browsing the web, you're usually f--ked.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: ...
by Temcat on Fri 18th Jan 2008 17:14 in reply to "RE: ..."
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

Otherwise, installing a package is simple already, just launch your favorite package manager, type the name of your application, click "Install", wait 5 minutes and you're done.

That is, provided you have the app (or the version of it that you need) in the repository.

Also, packaging for multiple distribution means work duplication, and probability of introducing packaging-related bugs is higher.

Moreover, with a single binary package, you have more chances to get a specific bug fixed upstream rather than going through the distro bugzilla route.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: ...
by anda_skoa on Fri 18th Jan 2008 00:30 in reply to "..."
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

I don't see this as the better solution, Linux should have a standar package format by now.


This is a totally orthogonal domain.

Package systems and installers have different goals and while it is possible to let one do the others job as well, it is better to let each one handle its own job.

A package system is about shared maintenance, e.g. a bug fix in a library being fixed once, packaged once and update once.

An installer is about independence, being self sufficient so to speak.

Basically all platforms enlist both concepts but probably have other ranges of responsibility associated with each.

Lets use Windows as a comparison: the package system only handles operating system components and a bit of other software (e.g. default Windows games) and lets the installers do the rest.

Linux increases the range of responsibility of the package system to a larger set of software, the applications available through the vendor's repository.
However there is still room and need for the installer, not only for proprietary application vendors who do not want or cannot participate shared maintenance, but also for free software vendors who anticipate that the better independence e.g. allows them to deliver new features faster or retain functionality longer or simply don't want to rely on a third party for some of the maintenance work.

Reply Parent Score: 13

RE: ...
by binarycrusader on Fri 18th Jan 2008 14:13 in reply to "..."
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't see this as the better solution, Linux should have a standar package format by now.


It does. Read the LSB spec. RPM is that official format ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: ...
by BluenoseJake on Fri 18th Jan 2008 14:49 in reply to "RE: ..."
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"It does. Read the LSB spec. RPM is that official format"

Then the LSB sucks. Some of the most popular distros don't use rpm, none of the ones I would recommend do. Thank god.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: ...
by segedunum on Fri 18th Jan 2008 14:54 in reply to "RE: ..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

It does. Read the LSB spec. RPM is that official format ;)


Yes, and a fat lot of good it's done us all. Most distributions still don't use RPM, and just because you have two distributions using RPMs it doesn't mean that a single RPM package will work for both. The LSB at times reads like the whole early nineties Unix 'This is the standard' thing - and then people went of and used something else regardless.

Reply Parent Score: 4