Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Nov 2009 23:05 UTC
Linux As we all know, Mac OS X has support for what is called 'fat binaries'. These are binaries that can carry code for for instance multiple architectures - in the case of the Mac, PowerPC and x86. Ryan Gordon was working on an implementation of fat binaries for Linux - but due to the conduct of the Linux maintainers, Gordon has halted the effort.
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This is just another solution...
by fernandotcl on Fri 6th Nov 2009 00:02 UTC
fernandotcl
Member since:
2007-08-12

...looking for a problem...

Most people who criticize package managers don't know how gracefully they work and instead rely on old myths that don't make any sense anymore (if you got into the "RPM hell" any time in the last 5 years, you obviously screwed up).

Now, sure, there are alternatives to package managers. But coming up with a patch that implements something that would be useless to all current distributions and getting upset about not getting it integrated into serious projects is a bit of a stretch, isn't it?

Here's an idea. Create a Linux-based system which doesn't rely on a package manager with a central repository. Make sure the ABI is 100% stable among all your releases (provide compatibility kludges for when that isn't the case). And now you've got your problem!

Isn't it an elegant system? Instead of relying on binaries provided by your distribution, you have to download from third parties directly (now that's a great idea, isn't it). Not only you waste more bandwidth and disk space, but you'll also depend on apps to nag you about updates or silently update themselves.

I miss the days when tech-inclined people were smart.

Reply Score: 1

dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

Isn't it an elegant system? Instead of relying on binaries provided by your distribution, you have to download from third parties directly (now that's a great idea, isn't it). Not only you waste more bandwidth and disk space, but you'll also depend on apps to nag you about updates or silently update themselves.


As opposed to relying on your distribution to provide the latest packages for you, which may or may not happen. Wonderful.

And please, disk space? We have 1TB HDDs today. While I prefer my OS and apps to have a small footprint, several more megabytes don't matter all that much.

Reply Parent Score: 1

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Thats all fine and dandy when you are using 1TB hdds. But what happens when you need to put the system on a rom chip? Or pxe boot it. I dont want the extra cruft in my system.

Reply Parent Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Isn't it an elegant system? Instead of relying on binaries provided by your distribution, you have to download from third parties directly (now that's a great idea, isn't it). Not only you waste more bandwidth and disk space, but you'll also depend on apps to nag you about updates or silently update themselves. I miss the days when tech-inclined people were smart.


I don't see anything smart about defending a system that was designed to save space in an era before gigabyte drives even existed. Trying to save bandwidth is also a joke in the age of broadband. The repository system solves problems from the disco age.

As for updates a central repository system also has to nag or update silently.

So what is left? What is the big advantage of the shared library system? Software can be installed automagically? You don't need shared libraries to do that. Software is kept in a secure place? No need for shared libraries there either.

There's nothing elegant about the shared library system. It's more of a hack that creates unneeded interdependencies. Programs still get broken and it requires additional labor to maintain. If you want to talk about wasting resources just think about how much work has gone into people fixing/maintaining the repository system in comparison to OSX/Windows where the users simply run the program without dealing with a middle man.

ISVs hate it because it gives them less independence, among other reasons.

The Apple engineers ditched the shared library system when they made OSX. Were they not smart either?

If you want to defend 70's tech then go ahead, but I'm sick of this attitude by Linux advocates who believe that people who criticize Unix/Linux are stupid. The original Unix design is not the omega of operating systems. Even the people that created it wanted to reform it years later (plan 9).

Edited 2009-11-07 02:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

So what is left? What is the big advantage of the shared library system?


- Reduces memory use

- Bugfixes. If a security vulnerability is fixed in a library, every app benefits without having to be updated.

- Yes, drive space. Many mobile devices still have root filesystem on small fast flash drive.

If you want to defend 70's tech then go ahead, but I'm sick of this attitude by Linux advocates who believe that people who criticize Unix/Linux are stupid.


Not really stupid - rather, it's about a knee jerk reaction when leaving their comfort zone. They mostly have experience with click-and-run installers, and want the same on Linux too. And these days, we have many click-and-run installers for Linux available. There is nothing in Linux that prevents you from making them (or makes it exceedingly hard, either).

Reply Parent Score: 2