Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Dec 2008 15:10 UTC
Editorial InternetNews.com states: "Microsoft (or a really smart ISV) should build a full application manager for Windows, similar to what most Linux distributions do today." Most Windows applications come with their own distinctive updating mechanism (much like Mac OS X), instead of having a centralised updating location like most Linux distributions offer. While it certainly wouldn't be harmful for Windows to gain such a feature - the question remains: isn't it time we rethink program installation and management altogether?
Thread beginning with comment 340333
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

It's still a valid point. Its not like there is one central repository for all linux programs, there are hundreds, all with different content, different levels of quality, and different levels of compatibility with each other.

Its not hard to get into alot of trouble as soon as you venture out of whatever distro specific repository you should be using for everything.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

It's still a valid point


No.

Its not like there is one central repository for all linux programs


Are you really suggesting there is one for all Windows and Apple program ?

there are hundreds, all with different content, different levels of quality, and different levels of compatibility with each other.


Your talking about GNU/Linux , not windows and Apple.
1 distribution usually as one official repository and one official package manager.

Its not hard to get into alot of trouble as soon as you venture out of whatever distro specific repository you should be using for everything.


I wonder how you survive with a windows system , it's worst.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

There's a reason there are so many different repositories. Every major Linux distribution keeps their own repositories which only contain software and libraries that are tested and known to work and be compatible with eachother. If you install something from a default Ubuntu repository, you can be certain all of it's dependencies will also be there, and be the right version. Adding more repositories in Ubuntu is as trivial as adding a URL to the end of a list. One line, nothing complicated. In the past three years, I have never had a serious problem with package management, no matter how many third party repositories I've added.

If having the latest version of a program is more important than having the tested version in the repositories, often you'll find the developers have already packaged it and it just hasn't been accepted into the official repositories yet. I normally add the repository of a program I like to keep up to date (like WINE), and then keeping it up to date is exactly the same as keeping any other program up to date. The same update tool is used, it shows up in your list of updates right next to everything else. It's virtually seamless.

Package management in Linux isn't perfect, I'll admit, but in my opinion it is better over-all compared to OS X's and Windows' software installation.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There's a reason there are so many different repositories. Every major Linux distribution keeps their own repositories which only contain software and libraries that are tested and known to work and be compatible with eachother. If you install something from a default Ubuntu repository, you can be certain all of it's dependencies will also be there, and be the right version. Adding more repositories in Ubuntu is as trivial as adding a URL to the end of a list. One line, nothing complicated. In the past three years, I have never had a serious problem with package management, no matter how many third party repositories I've added. If having the latest version of a program is more important than having the tested version in the repositories, often you'll find the developers have already packaged it and it just hasn't been accepted into the official repositories yet. I normally add the repository of a program I like to keep up to date (like WINE), and then keeping it up to date is exactly the same as keeping any other program up to date. The same update tool is used, it shows up in your list of updates right next to everything else. It's virtually seamless. Package management in Linux isn't perfect, I'll admit, but in my opinion it is better over-all compared to OS X's and Windows' software installation.


There is a third option that you seem to have missed that uses the package management system, guarantees it will work if you choose the correct source, and does not require you to add extra repositories to your repository list.

An good example of this other "repository-less" method of installing packages for Linux that I speak of can be found here:

http://www.getdeb.net/

Reply Parent Score: 6

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's still a valid point. Its not like there is one central repository for all linux programs, there are hundreds, all with different content, different levels of quality, and different levels of compatibility with each other. Its not hard to get into alot of trouble as soon as you venture out of whatever distro specific repository you should be using for everything.


I'd dispute that. Package managers these days have very good checks for dependencies, and very good algorithms for resolving them.

If there is no solution to install a given package, then the package manager won't install it.

Where is the path that would "get you into a lot of trouble"?

Reply Parent Score: 4

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

In all the years I have used linux it happened three times with fedora and once with ubuntu, once with debian that the package manager ended up getting borked in some way to the point where I couldn't add or remove packages.

With fedora it was because I kept adding third party repos that were compatible with fedora, but not compatible with each other, and had overlapping packages. Both times with debian it was because I was installing debs pulled from somewhere other then the debian repos (once it was from a friend, once off of a website)

Its not like this is a pandemic, at least not since the rise of ubuntu (the debian repos IMO are top knotch and fairly comprehensive). but it does happen every once in awhile, and when it does it is a real problem, especially for a newbie linux user.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's rare that one would need to venture outside the distributions repositories in the first place. Mandriva includes everything I need for a desktop with bleeding edge program versions. Debian's repositories are an even larger software libary to choose from. The only thing I need outside of those two sources is VMware Server which is completely painless to install from tarball with it's own installer; server software requiring some typing during installation is not an issue for me though.

Reply Parent Score: 3