Just NOW fragmenting? Sure...
Posted Mar 2, 2006 17:42 UTC (Thu) by wilck
In reply to: Just NOW fragmenting? Sure...
Parent article: Linux fragmenting at last?
You are right, using official packages from the distribution is always first choice. But...
Being "easy to package" in the way you describe doesn't warrant that a distribution will package an application. Distributors can't package everything, and they make their own choices about what applications and which versions thereof they include. The SELinux/Apparmor example in the original article illustrates this.
Moreover, once a distribution is released, most distributions don't update the packages. If you stick with packages, you are soon forced to either use outdated software or upgrade the entire distribution every few months - or use a 3rd party package. (Talking about "stable" distributions of course. Gentoo or Sid users aren't affected, but they have other problems).
What do you do if your favourite distribution just won't ship the app you like, or sticks with an old version that doesn't have the features you need? Change the distribution? Or build the app from source?
I, at least, prefer a clean 3rd party binary package, and I'd find it highly desirable to have standards would make it possible for skilled 3rd party developers to build clean packages that actually work on different distributions.
A few years ago, that used to be fairly simple. It's getting harder every year. That's the road to fragmentation.
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