Where this idea come from ?
Biggest problem with non-distribution install is conflicts between packages from different sources. When you are using distribution packages this problem is mostly absent, but when you are trying to install different packages from different sources you need sandboxing (at the very least any change should be cancellable). And as Windows world showed delegating this cancelability to program creators is "totally bad idea"(tm) - package system should enforce some rules. See Windows Installer for some ideas - it's not great implementation of the idea but it's still better then InstallShit^H^H^H^H^H^HAutopackage.
Autopackage is good old "plug-and-pray" idea: run installation script and hope for the best. If it does not work... you are out of luck: there are few knobs to press and they are not readily available. This is biggest problem with installers in Windows world: if everything works fine, then user is happy. If installer does not work then you are reduced to dances with tambourines - there are no good way to track problems. Any installer can screw you system beyond recognition and there are no way to see what installer will do and there are no way to prevent suck screwups.
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