Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Nov 2010 17:58 UTC, submitted by visitor
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu After announcing the move to Unity, and the eventual move to Wayland further down the line (someday one day perhaps eventually maybe once when unicorns roam the earth), Ubuntu is announcing yet another major change, this time in its release policy. While they're not moving to a rolling release as some websites are claiming, they will update components and applications more often.
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Separation of OS from apps is needed
by phoenix on Wed 24th Nov 2010 20:36 UTC
Member since:

I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it until some Linux distro clues into it: you need to create a clear separation between "base OS" and "user apps". And they need to be developed separately, but in tandem.

Windows does this.
All of the BSDs do this.
MacOS X does this.

It's only the Linux distros that don't.

You can install Windows XP today, and run the latest version of Firefox on it. Or the latest version of Or the latest version (with a few exceptions) of AppX.

Same with the BSDs. You can install version Y from 3 years ago, and still install the latest (with a few exceptions) version of AppX.

Same with MacOS X.

But it's almost impossible to do that with a Linux distro. Want the latest Adobe Flash 10.1? You need to upgrade GTK+, which means you have to upgrade glib, which means you have to upgrade half your installed packages.

Want to install the latest Firefox? You have to wait for your distro to include it, then upgrade a bunch of inter-related packages. Or download it from Mozilla, and have it poorly integrated.

We're fighting with this right now with Debian. Even on our 5.0 (Lenny) boxes, we're stuck with Flash 10.0 due to the GTK requirement being higher than what's available in the Lenny repos (no, we're not going to install GTK from the backports repo, as that requires upgrading some 100+ packages). And we're stuck with 9.0 on our Etch boxes for the same reason.

But, I can install Adobe Flash 10.1 on FreeBSD 7.0, released how many years ago? And on Windows XP, over a decade old. Without having to upgrade half of the installed OS.

Repos are good for package management. But the same repo shouldn't be used for the core OS and the user apps.

Reply Score: 14

aaronb Member since:


I like MacOS X / BeOS way of dragging a file to a location and it is installed, removing the file removes the software (well most of it, there can still be configuration files left behind).

Windows is worse in some respects because records in the registry get left behind when removing software. Also, a lot of software provides think that it is an excellent idea to have their separate update notification programs load automatically upon login in and staying loaded. However your point remains true its easy to install programs in Windows without issue compared to Linux distributions if the software you want is not in the repositories.

There would not be so much of a problem in Linux distributions if the community actually agreed and stuck to a set of standards. The distributions could use their own internal format like DEB for Debian and Ubuntu or RPM for SuSe and Fedora. But they should still be able install for example PBI file if that was the agreed standard.

Reply Parent Score: 3

elsewhere Member since:

Repos are good for package management. But the same repo shouldn't be used for the core OS and the user apps.

OpenSUSE has been doing this for some time now. The build service allows for the creation of separate repos containing software that is automatically built against specific versions of the underlying OS.

I've been easily able to stay synched with the latest versions of KDE, firefox and OOo etc. by adding the appropriate repos, without having to worry about the underlying OS breaking.

Although the build service was designed to support additional distros such as fedora, deb and ubuntu, I thought that the other distros were picking up on this as well.... Isn't that what the Ubuntu PPAs are all about? Honestly don't know, I don't really follow Ubuntu.

Reply Parent Score: 6

sicofante Member since:

This is the elephant in the room.

Spot on.

Reply Parent Score: 1