Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th May 2008 21:00 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Ever since I started using computers, I've been baffled by the relative clumsiness of installing applications. Whether we are talking the really old days (launching the Rambo game off a tape), the '90s (running Keen or using installers in Windows 95), or the modern days (still those installers, but now also package management and self-contained applications); it's all relatively cumbersome, and they all have their downsides. I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and come up with my idealistic, utopian method of installing, running, updating, and uninstalling applications.
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Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Doesn't every program need a unique identifier?
How do you make sure that no two programs can have the same identifier if everybody can set up a server and name/tag the apps as he pleases?


They're not identifiers, they're values stored as an attribute. Even if you have ten billion million attributes with value 345, if they belong to different files, that simply doesn't matter.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Maybe I just misunderstand what you say but aren't all these attributes together sort of an identifier?

So you could have two files with attributes
program=paint
vendor=ms
version=4.1
patch_level=127
...

and if they contained different binaries it would be a big problem. You could, of course, add mechanisms like checksumming the binaries and so on.
But then again you'd need a central server/group of servers that tell the user that a program with attributes x and y should have checksum z.
Am I missing something?

Reply Parent Score: 2

brucecampbellite Member since:
2006-08-14

Or alternatively, the developer/maintainer or whoever does the bundling can simply use some sort of cryptographic key, which the installer uses to confirm the new bundle is indeed from the same source as the already installed bundle.

Basically, the problem you're trying to solve is intrinsic to any form of installation, not only the idea posted in this article, so whatever solutions exist already can be used without any need for centralised administration.

If I recall correctly, zero-install used some crypto-signing for something similar.

Reply Parent Score: 1