Linked by Tom5 on Tue 24th May 2011 21:13 UTC
Linux Zero Install, the decentralised cross-distribution software installation system, announced 0install 1.0 today, after 8 years in development. 0install allows software developers to publish programs directly from their own web-sites, while supporting features familiar from centralised distribution repositories such as shared libraries, automatic updates and digital signatures. It complements, rather than replaces, the OS's package management. As well as allowing developers to create a single package that works across Linux, BSDs, Mac OS X and Windows, it could help make software available on more minor platforms. OSNews covered decentralised installation systems in 2007.
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Direct connection
by Tom5 on Wed 25th May 2011 09:41 UTC in reply to "Nobody seems to care"
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Agreed. One of the great things I remember from when I first started releasing software for Linux (about 1998): people would get it direct from my web site, compile it and run it. If there was a bug, they'd write to me, I'd fix it, and often they'd have a working version the same day.

But when they get my software from their distribution, the bug reports I get are 6 months out of date. The problem is often already fixed, but it will be another 6 months before they can get the working version.

That really kills any chance of rapid improvement and feedback through community involvement, which should be what free software does best.

PPAs are OK if you've got an army of packagers to backport every release to every distribution, but most software isn't popular enough for that. I wonder why more developers don't give 0install a try?

Reply Parent Score: 1

0package, autopackage
by anarchisttomato on Wed 25th May 2011 14:16 in reply to "Direct connection"
anarchisttomato Member since:

I covered Autopackage years ago in Tux Magazine and it seemed to have more potential to me than others, including 0install. One of the major barriers seemed to be Debian people, who went all religious on their 'ass', and even banned Autopackage developers from their IRC channels. That sort of thing was really demoralising, and despite the fact it had interest from parties like IBM, idiotic zealots from other projects killed it.

Sometimes we're our own worst enemies.

I wasn't nearly as much a fan of 0install last time I tried it (although I imagine it's much improved over the years) as the very familiar and intuitive interface as Autopackage, but heck, good luck to 'em.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: 0package, autopackage
by Tom5 on Wed 25th May 2011 14:57 in reply to "0package, autopackage"
Tom5 Member since:

I remember when we first got 0install into the Debian repository, I had to spend quite a long time convincing them that it wasn't like Autopackage!

I think the main issue was this: if an Autopackage needed a newer version of a library than the one Debian had installed, it would move Debian's copy out of the way and replace it with its own. So there was a risk that other programs on the system would stop working, and Debian would get confusing bug reports.

0install never does that: a library added by 0install is only visible to other 0install programs (and, in fact, only to those which depend on it explicitly).

Reply Parent Score: 1