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[3]: ...
by WereCatf on Fri 18th Jan 2008 14:38 UTC 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

RE[5]: ...
by anda_skoa on Fri 18th Jan 2008 17:49 in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

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.


I don't think the LSB needs to include installation methods as well.

RPM is in there for historic reasons, an attempt to make "standard" packages some kind installer, i.e. using the LSB RPM as an installer additionally to the package manager the distribution is using for its packages.

As I said in my other posting, it is technically possible to do this, i.e. use a package system for the role of the installer, but it is not a wise choice, since the base requirements are different.

The parts of the LSB which are important for the ISVs are mainly the specifications which libraries exists with which ABI.

As with other platforms they can leave the actual installation to installers and they have plenty of options there on Linux as well.

This is the system they are used to so trying to put them into package boundaries is very unlikely going to work.

IHMO, the idea to have ISVs install their software, packages by them, through the systems package is flawed.
It is either letting the distributor handle the packaging or installing through an installer.

Both work very well, can be used in parallel, but forcibly combining them in one "├╝bersolution" does not.

Edited 2008-01-18 17:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2