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."
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RE[2]: ...
by weirdnut on Fri 18th Jan 2008 11:16 UTC 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[3]: ...
by WereCatf on Fri 18th Jan 2008 14:38 in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

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.

I do compile stuff from sources every now and then and it is usually just "./configure --prefix=/usr;make;make install"..Not really that hard ;) On a binary distro you have to install gcc and the corresponding -dev packages but even that doesn't really take long.

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.

The only universal method of distributing an app is sources.. I do admit it's a bit awkward, especially for the less experienced, but it can't be helped. Distros differ too much from one another. And there will never be only one distro left which everyone would use.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: ...
by TemporalBeing on Fri 18th Jan 2008 14:58 in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

"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.


I do compile stuff from sources every now and then and it is usually just "./configure --prefix=/usr;make;make install"..Not really that hard ;) On a binary distro you have to install gcc and the corresponding -dev packages but even that doesn't really take long.
"

That's fine for geeks, but doesn't work well for the average computer user. Remember - most computer users are not that smart with respect to the computer. (They may be brilliant in something else though.) For example, how many grandmothers would be able to figure that out? Or even understand it? Or even want to try? True - probably more now than 10 years ago, but the number if probably pretty low.

"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.


The only universal method of distributing an app is sources.. I do admit it's a bit awkward, especially for the less experienced, but it can't be helped. Distros differ too much from one another. And there will never be only one distro left which everyone would use.
"

Distribution by source only really works for F/OSS software. There are a lot of companies that develop software and focus on Windows and Mac, but leave Linux out. Why? Because they don't have any easy, universal, and simple way for people to install their software.

This is where solutions like Autopackage come in. Autopackage works with the local systems's package manager (apt, pkgtool, rpm, etc.) to register it with the system, and also provides some final linking steps so that things like libc don't need to be packaged all the time.

Honestly, I think we need to get LSB updated to have Autopackage or something similar mandated - if not replacing RPM at least along side RPM. This would provide a great deal of opportunity for commercial software vendors to develop for Linux and really open the market.

FYI - I also don't see the Linux Desktop market growing very fast without something like Autopackage becoming part of the LSB either simply because of how much it would enable commercial software (games, applications, etc.) to be able to target Linux easily too - and RPMs are not the answer.

Reply Parent Score: 1