Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 15th Mar 2009 12:46 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes PolishLinux has an editorial on program installation on Linux systems, and even though it's a bit hard to wade through (the author's native language sure isn't English) it does make a number of very good points in favour of the way most Linux systems handle things. Still, as always in the discussion on program installation, it always feels a bit like listening to a discussion between a deaf and a blind man about whose condition is the easiest to live with.
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bogomipz
Member since:
2005-07-11

i.e. Everyone noticed, but nobody cares because apple iStore is as old as shit as a concept.

Maybe not literally as old as the concept of "shit", but yes, it's the exact same principle as distros use for their repositories.

The difference, however, is that while there is one iPhone App Store, there are hundreds of distro repositories.

Contrary to what some seem to think, this can not be fixed simply by choosing one package manager and forcing every distro to standardize on that. That would just make them seem compatible on the surface. The actual packages would still not work on other systems than the one they were built for. This has to do with naming conventions for the packages, different splitting of bigger software suits, structure of the file system, boot scripts, decisions made by autoconf at compile time, etc.

The many shapes and forms GNU/Linux systems come in are their blessing and their curse.

Reply Parent Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Which is why we really need to either standardize the important parts of various Linux systems (not likely), or start thinking of them in terms of what they really are: separate operating systems with some similarities. They're not distros, they're operating systems compatible on a source level but not very compatible on the binary level.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Which is why we really need to either standardize the important parts of various Linux systems (not likely), or start thinking of them in terms of what they really are: separate operating systems with some similarities. They're not distros, they're operating systems compatible on a source level but not very compatible on the binary level.


True.

In many ways, this is a strength, not a shortcoming.

It means that attention is paid to make sure that the source code makes as few assumptions as possible at the binary level. Linux, for example, is readily available for big endian and little endian machines, and for 16-bit, 32-bit and 64-bit machines.

It means that there can be gentoo-like distributions, which use source code as the distribution mechanism, resulting in machines with binary packages optimised for that machine, instead of using one-size-fits-all binary packages that must assume a lowest-common-denominator (example: most binary packages for Linux distributions, like Windows, have to assume a 32-bit i386 CPU).

Obligatory supporting link:
http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gcc-optimization.xml

It also means that a new architecture with a particular advantage (say, low power drain making it good for running on battery power) will have a ready-made desktop OS available if it wants a way to break in to a new market.

Obligatory supporting link:
http://www.slashgear.com/arm-netbook-new-deal-with-ubuntu-backers-1...

Things like this adaptability are made possible by paying attention to the source code, and having individual distributors worry about particular architectures.

Reply Parent Score: 2

earlycj5 Member since:
2007-04-12

There also is only one iPhone and one iPhone OS which makes it possible to have just ONE repository for it that works. Vertical integration, it's what Apple does well.

Reply Parent Score: 1