The future: standarisation of Linux?

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Postby Grifter » 2007-01-23 21:06

mdevour wrote:If developers have to re-code, re-compile, re-package, debug, and support every application for what amounts to several different platforms to market their program on "Linux," it will be a barrier between us, the users, and more and better programs to run on our systems.


Huh? Despite the differences in names between distributions, they all run gnu/linux, so you don't have to recode, recompile, you _do_ have to repackage because of the different package management systems out there, but so what? either the distro people will do that, or you can just supply a distro-neutral package

when lsb first came out, in order to be lsb-certified you had to run rpm as your package management, i don't know if they still persist with this folly, but that really underscores the problem in my opinion, gnu/linux is about choice and for the most part the only people who complain about choice are the people who don't run gnu/linux in the first place and don't understand it

the platform is the same for program compatibility, the only thing that changes is newer releases of libs, but distros have done their job so far, and they'll continue to do it

the kind of standardizations that has to do with how the operating system functions aren't necessary, because then there'd only be one distro

and then there are people who confuse this issue with standardizations about their user interface in X too

standardization is bullshit, just follow the c libs development and you'll be able to run any gnu/linux program on any gnu/linux operating system
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Postby Lavene » 2007-01-24 05:25

Just an apropos: http://cnr.com/

Sounds like something that has the potential to become either a blessing or a terrible disaster. My gut feeling is the latter...

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Postby DeanLinkous » 2007-01-24 05:56

A shining example of standardization......... ;)

It only made sense to expand our successful CNR Service to additional desktop Linux distributions and their users. CNR will normalize the process of installing software across most of the popular distributions, something Linux really needs to gain mainstream adoption.


successful? the still-not-profitable linspire somehow translates into successful?

How is a repo with debs and rpms somehow "normalized"?

If past performance of CNR is any indication then I have a gut feeling also....and it aint good! :)
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Postby mdevour » 2007-01-24 12:23

Thanks for the comments, folks. I always learn from you.

Software installation is probably a good example. How many times have noobs like me followed the instructions for installing a new application and then couldn't figure out how to start it?

Oh... I have to bring up a term and type update-menus.

Okay, now how can I organize the menus the way I want? Edit such-and-such file; the syntax is self explanatory.

Desktop shortcuts? Depends on your WM. Huh?

If some of those projects mentioned above work out, it may eventually become irrelevant whether your system is apt or rpm based. That's not a bad thing.

I can't help but think that after a decade or two of development there are at least a few things that we can distill from the (admittedly organized) chaos without losing anything of urgent importance.

Still, I probably need to try a few more distros to get a better handle on how good things really are. My path so far has limited my experience and probably subjected me to more pointless thrashing around than is absolutely necessary. :roll:

Be well,

Mike D.
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Postby hcgtv » 2007-01-24 16:04

Lavene wrote:Just an apropos: http://cnr.com

If anything, I'll subscribe to their feeds:
Code: Select all
Find software by:
    • By Popularity ("Charts")
    • User Ratings
    • New Arrivals

It would be interesting to see what are the most popular titles, what users appear to like and what's coming in new to the various distros.
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Postby Lavene » 2007-01-24 17:39

Interesting: The Linspire people are falling over in awe by this idea (naturally... they're used to the CNR) but people from other distros are more like: "Yeah... wahtever..."

This is of course because all distros already have a GUI package management system like Synaptic for Debian. And since this service will actually pull their Debian packages from the Debian repositories (and the same with all other packages from other repositories), what on earth is the point? All you do is add another link, with all the potential problems, to the chain...

I really doubt that this will become a hit.

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Postby DeanLinkous » 2007-01-24 17:50

They hope this idea rocks so that linspire can stay in business and not make their lifetime-CNR membership worthless... :D
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Postby drl » 2007-01-24 19:17

Hi, mdevour.
mdevour wrote:Still, I probably need to try a few more distros to get a better handle on how good things really are. My path so far has limited my experience and probably subjected me to more pointless thrashing around than is absolutely necessary.

I would say it is not pointless if you learn something. We all wander around for a time in unfamiliar territory.

If it is any comfort -- you may know that Linix is a unix work-alike. That should serve to put the following in context.

The two quotes I use the most about unix are:
UNIX was written by programmers for programmers.
(and indeed, most of those original programmers were PhD's)
UNIX is not user-unfriendly, it's just picky about its friends.

Best wishes ... cheers, drl
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Postby plugwash » 2007-01-24 22:03

mdevour wrote:If developers have to re-code, re-compile, re-package, debug, and support every application for what amounts to several different platforms to market their program on "Linux," it will be a barrier between us, the users, and more and better programs to run on our systems.

i agree completely

Grifter wrote:Huh? Despite the differences in names between distributions, they all run gnu/linux, so you don't have to recode, recompile

unfortunately certain people in positions in power in major opensource projects have in the name of marginal performance increases set things up so that is not the case.

even if i stick to stuff that is in the versions of libraries that were present in sarge a binary built on etch is unlikely to run on sarge.

there are ways arround this, such as building on a very old distro and hoping every other distro you care about has newer versions or using specialist build tools like autopackages apbuild (but that has problems of its own).


[quote=grifter]when lsb first came out, in order to be lsb-certified you had to run rpm as your package management, i don't know if they still persist with this folly[/quote]
i thought you had to be able to install LSB rpms but that a tool like debians alien was considered an acceptable way of providing that functionality.


the platform is the same for program compatibility, the only thing that changes is newer releases of libs, but distros have done their job so far, and they'll continue to do it

If i discover a bug in the version of something on my distro and want to (or are asked by upstream to) try a new version then often the only choices are to install from source (works ok but has its problems like the package manager not knowing about the installation) or to build a package myself (non trivial even for an experianced user)

i've heared reports from some *nix orientated opensource projects that they have less trouble getting newish versions out to thier windows users than thier linux users because of this whole distro issue.
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Postby Lavene » 2007-01-25 06:33

It's all about the nature of Linux. It's a community effort and you are expected to scratch your own itch. That's also why there have come to be so many distros; if you're not content with the available solutions you are free to create your own. And people will continue to do that. No one tells you what to do on any level, it's mere suggestions.

If you are unhappy with something you can either take part and try to make it better or you can suck it up and live with the itch. If you just sit back complaining and demanding that someone else do the scratching you'll find that no one gives a damn. Practically all FOSS project is a voluntary thing. People work on it in their own time for the sheer pleasure of doing it, not to satisfy someone who can't be bothered doing anything (like trying out a new version to see if a bug is ironed out).

If a package is causing an itch and no one seem to do anything then start to take part. Learn what it takes, join the team and package it your self, submit a patch or even pay someone else to do it for you. But don't complain about that the people working for free is not doing enough.

It's only natural that it's easier to get a new version out to Windows users. There are literally millions of people using the exact same operating system. But the thing about windows is that most users are itching like hell, but knowing that they can't do anything about it they choose to live with hoping that some day something will come by that scratches them a little.

The bottom line is that if you expect someone to come running to scratch every little itch you have then Linux is not for you even if you happen to hate MS with a vengeance.

Tina

PS: Maybe this come out a bit harsh... I'm not trying to flame anyone. It's just that the freedom and spirit of GNU/ Linux is very close to my heart...
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