Cacaphony of Packages
Posted Mar 31, 2005 18:33 UTC (Thu) by raven667
Parent article: Autopackage 1.0
The problem here that autopackage is trying to solve (workaround, really) is the fact that still one cannot expect a binary built for one system to work seamlessly on another. Assuming the thing runs at all (LSB helps, but doesn't cover things like GNOME and KDE) the packaging is likely to be all b0rked, an RPM made for SuSE isn't going to install cleanly or correctly on RHEL or Mandrake and it'll be completely wrong on your Debian based system.
Currently the choices for a software creator are to:
A) Have their software picked up and distributed by a vendor
B) Spend a lot of time making packages and tracking dependancies for every platform you wish to support.
C) Bypass the package system entirely and make && make install
D) Loki Setup, Autopackage or InstallAnywhere
Right now this is a mess, but I don't see any solution in sight. The only way to fix this in a sane fashion is to have one packaging system, one filesystem layout and one dependancy tree (similar to how Debian and Debian-variants can easily work together). Basically RHEL, Fedora, SuSE, Mandrake/Connectiva, Debian, Gentoo will all have to go away and be replaced by a standard Linux. Since these people think
1) They have the "One True Way" so they're sticking to their OS
2) They need to differentiate in the marketplace (this is killer)
This will never happen. It isn't technically as bad as the old Unix Wars, everyone is dipping from the same source tree, they aren't fully forked from one another, but they have enough niggling differences to make them practically incompatable.
Anyway, a rambling $0.02
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