Linux Autopackage

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Linux Autopackage

Postby alloydog » Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:42 pm

Anyone had any experience with Linux Autopackage?
Good, bad, indifferent?
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RE: Linux Autopackage

Postby towy71 » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:15 pm

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Last edited by towy71 on Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Linux Autopackage

Postby M-Saunders » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:18 pm

It's utterly wonderful. Really. I reviewed it in a recent HotPicks, and was thoroughly impressed by how they'd crafted everything just right. You don't even need to install it -- you just execute any program supplied in .package format, and it'll download the (small) Autopackage infrastructure.

That's the goal: no dependencies, no repositories, no libfoobar.so.0.1.5a, no 'package managers' -- you just find an app, double-click it and you're done.

IMO, Autopackage's success could have a huge impact on desktop Linux. Despite what some people say, repositories and apt-get aren't a solution; they work adequately in the short-term, but once you need an app that's not provided, you're stuck. Compile? Takes time, and may need more dependencies. Grab another binary package? Could be problematic if it's not made for your distro. Upgrade to some 'testing' distro release? Why should anyone have to for a new app?

AutoPackage ditches this whole mess and, most crucially, avoids the horrible duplicated effort going on amongst the hundreds of distros. Right now, there are more people building, patching, rebuilding and repatching some programs than there are developers for that program! Instead of every distro having to patch, build and package big software, there can be one source: the .package.

Some folks have argued that it makes software installation a bit Windows-esque. Is that a bad thing? There's no point in being different just for the sake of it, when it means Joe User can't run the latest FooApp because his distro repository doesn't have it... and to compile from source he'd need 15 other -devel tarballs... and there's a dodgy package in an 'experimental' repository which clashes with another app... and and and... *sigh*

This flummoxes newcomers who're accustomed to the ease of downloading a .exe, double-clicking it and using it. That's no great Windows innovation -- it's how many OSes have worked for years -- so in 2005 it's about time Linux got to the same stage, methinks.

OK, rant over :) (Well, until someone else mentions Autopackage. In a nutshell: it's excellent, and I absolutely pray it becomes dominant.)

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RE: Linux Autopackage

Postby alloydog » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:37 pm

"Some folks have argued that it makes software installation a bit Windows-esque"
Which is what puts a lot of new comers off Linux - they can't find a suitable rpm, deb or what package and make this compile that whilst tarring your grandmother and grep yer grand-dad isn't very user friendly. With Windows, it is usually double-click and it's done.

Sounds good to me, I shall give some a bash.
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RE: Linux Autopackage

Postby linuxgirlie » Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:06 am

Do many projects provide .package options? It looks like a nice system, though myself personally have never had problems with .rpm ...though tar.gz's are a bit of a pain!!
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RE: Linux Autopackage

Postby M-Saunders » Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:25 am

It's growing: http://www.autopackage.org/packages/

Stuff like glibc and the kernel is best left to distro vendors -- it's the big desktop apps that could really do from widespread Autopackage adoption.

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RE: Linux Autopackage

Postby firefox » Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:36 pm

Currently I prefer something like urpmi, yum, etc. These will keep all your software up to date for you, whereas it looks as though the .package format doesn't as yet.

I think the viewpoint of a selection of inter-dependant packages from a repository making up your system is more realistic and scalable than lots of discrete .packages installed separately from multiple sources.
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RE: Linux Autopackage

Postby guy » Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:39 pm

Another toy I have come across is Zero Install

It stores runtimes in a "cache" directory, rather than "installing" in the conventional way. It also resolves all dependencies automatically at runtime, and various other nice things.

Anybody tried it?
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