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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
Mozilla's web app store debuts in Firefox for Android
Posted Oct 19, 2012 19:11 UTC (Fri) by BenHutchings (subscriber, #37955)
Posted Oct 19, 2012 22:59 UTC (Fri) by debacle (subscriber, #7114)
Posted Oct 20, 2012 13:57 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Repository is fundamentally different from App Store. App Store makes it possible for the different competing parties to upload stuff. Even if there are review process (as in Apple's App Store) it looks on each app in isolation (sometimes Apple decides not to permit the app when it's competes with offers from Apple itself, but of course this is an aberration, not something to celebrate). Repository tries to create coherent whole from the disparate packages. It's easy see the difference: you can install apps from dozens of App Stores on Android - and the phone will work like a phone in the end, but try to mix dozens of random PPAs - and you can easily reach the state where the result will refuse to even boot.
P.S. Of course it's entirely possible to offer examples of conflicting applications for Android and it's possible to show dozen of PPAs which don't conflict. This is about principle, not about the details: App Stores are designed to offer random software from random vendors which you can install without thinking—and sometimes it fails while repository offers coherent whole and is not designed to be mixed with other repositories—although sometimes you can do that if you are lucky.
Posted Oct 21, 2012 22:03 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307)
Posted Oct 22, 2012 16:05 UTC (Mon) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Posted Oct 21, 2012 17:45 UTC (Sun) by wertigon (guest, #42963)
1. Must be able to upload apps, or media files, or whatever through a review process
2. Must be able to charge for apps (although price may be free of charge)
3. A bunch of metadata standards that says things like, if you download a music album put it in Music under Artist -> Album
If someone would develop that protocol all of a sudden a good chunk of power comes back to us consumers/users. :)
Posted Oct 23, 2012 6:22 UTC (Tue) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
It would be cool to define 'app guidelines' for dpkg and rpm packages - the package must install to a few standard directories only, must not contain preinstall or postinstall scripts or suid binaries, etc - and then perhaps additionally run these packages in their own sandbox as Ubuntu is planning. Then while only root can install packages in general, ordinary users could install 'app packages'.
Posted Oct 23, 2012 8:48 UTC (Tue) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Good offer. Now you've reached (at least in your mind) the state of oh-so-hostile-and-non-free Apple's AppStore. To make something like Android's AppStore reality you need to develop good sandboxing (and accompanying set of permissions) first.
It's true that repos and AppStores are two points in the same continuum, but [contrary to the common belief] repos are years behind in the direction which matters.
This is the same story again and again: geek community solves 99% of the problem, and then stops. Years later commercial company solves the same problem 100% (and thus makes it available for Joe Averages) and geeks howl: "WTF, we had this for years". No, you didn't.
Here is another example: think remote access. Unix (and Linux) had it from the start (because of network transparency). But… the most common scenario Joe Average may need is pretty simple: it's waaay too late, I'm still on the work, I want to go home and finish the work from there. Can I somehow reach these windows I have opened on my desktop right now? Windows got the answer in 2001 (with Windows XP) and it worked fine ever since. Linux... still does not have a satisfying answer. Some distributions offer VNC-based solutions (which are not as capable because anyone who's still in office can interfere), but venerable X with all it's "network transparency" claims is still not usable for that.
Posted Oct 23, 2012 9:55 UTC (Tue) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
Posted Oct 26, 2012 13:01 UTC (Fri) by juliank (subscriber, #45896)
Posted Oct 26, 2012 15:31 UTC (Fri) by debacle (subscriber, #7114)
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