[Rpm-maint] Re: [packaging] RFC: Berlin Packaging API

Jeff Licquia jeff at licquia.org
Wed Feb 27 23:59:11 UTC 2008

Dan Kegel wrote:
> Other than that, the existing packaging systems
> are up to the task, and are far better than the
> crufty installers provided by vendors.

Let me see if I can summarize what ISVs have been telling us:

  - Some vendors rely on cross-platform installers such as 
InstallAnywhere.  They view cross-platform installation as a must-have 
feature, and have no interest in creating a platform-specific install 
process just for Linux.

  - Installer programs, for better or worse, are standard industry 
practice for the vast majority of ISVs.  Learning the benefits of 
packaging, and recognizing the net gain among the tradeoffs, is a hurdle 
to Linux uptake.

  - It is not straightforward to build a truly cross-distro package; 
most of the documentation and tools provided by distros focus on 
creating packages that end up with subtle dependencies on that specific 
distro.  ISVs with strong Linux experience can overcome these hurdles, 
but not ISVs just moving into the field.

  - One of the two standard packaging systems, RPM, does not provide a 
package-specific installation UI.  How does an ISV present a license 
agreement to the user at package installation time, for example?

  - Package managers do not support installation as a user without root 

  - The process of installing a package is too difficult with packages 
currently.  As you note, people are working on this, but the current 
solutions are distro-specific.  OpenSuSE's one-click only works on SuSE. 
  Linspire's only works with Linspire and (some) Ubuntu, and requires 
that you make Linspire the gateway (or did, last I checked).

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