Linked by Andrew Hudson on Mon 20th Jun 2011 17:19 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Haiku Alpha 3 has been in development for more than 14 months. In that time more than 800 bugs have been identified and fixed, major sections have been updated, applications have been added and updated, and great progress has been made in supporting additional hardware. Here is a summary of updates, more details can be found here. Also inside, interviews with some core Haiku developers.
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There are many good reasons to have a package manager for Haiku. If you have ever installed one of the thousands of BeOS or Haiku apps from Haikuware you will find there are dependency challenges. Older BeOS apps need GCC2 libs to run correctly. Newer apps run with different GCC4 libs. And apps in development need a mix of other libs also in development. Currently there are several work-arounds, none of which are easy for the casual user.

You can download a 'big fat library install' with a bunch of libs all at a certain revision. This will work for some apps but breaks others. And when you install different apps, they too need different versions of the libs.

You can manage this manually with sym links, on an app-by-app basis. But it is a pain. And this is better done by automation.

Having a package manager is a really good idea for Haiku. For these reasons alone.

Edited 2011-06-20 18:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

Halo Member since:

Riddle me this: Why doesn't Mac OS X have any problems with dependencies? Why can't the Haiku developers just tell application developers that libraries should be included in application bundles?

BeOS does have dependency problems that Haiku inherits. BeOS was also made at a time when shared libraries made sense. If you're on a 28.8k modem with less than a gig of hard disk space, sharing dependencies is an attractive prospect.

It's not 1995 anymore, though, and you'll struggle to find anyone that cares that they have a dozen copies of Qt on their PC.

Edited 2011-06-20 19:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

AndrewZ Member since:

"Why can't the Haiku developers just tell developers that libraries should be included in application bundles?"

Some developers use this strategy now. It has pluses and minuses. One problem from this is very fat executables. Another problem is that the app is frozen to a lib that cannot be updated for bug fixes, vulnerability fixes, optimizations, or other improvements.

Also, Haiku developers can provide guidelines to app developers but cannot be dictators. We look to the Haiku developers for wisdom, not absolute laws.

It is my understanding that a shared library provides 'sharing' at run time. This way one lib can be used by many apps and the OS, at once, while they are running. This reduces memory footprints and loading times. This does not have anything to do with version issues. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Also, I am not so familiar with OSX, so I can't answer what it uses for lib versioning. Certainly some brilliant solution invented by Steve Jobs, possibly requiring a black turtleneck :-)

Edited 2011-06-20 19:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

tanishaj Member since:

It's not 1995 anymore, though, and you'll struggle to find anyone that cares that they have a dozen copies of Qt on their PC.

Well, I might not miss the drive space anymore but I am still always out of RAM. A half-dozen Qt apps, each with their own version of the framework, is not going to help.

Reply Parent Score: 1