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Re: [olpc-software] No package manager?



On Mon, Mar 13, 2006 at 03:50:05PM -0500, Jim Gettys wrote:
> I've argued to Chris that it will be necessary; flash is tight, and
> sharing of applications that may have multiple different dependencies I
> believe common. 

I think we're talking at crossed purposes here. When saying we don't want
to use a traditional packaging tool such as APT / RPM, it is not because
we don't care about dependancies / sharing between apps (although it could
well be less important in the context of OLPC, that is a side issue). The
primary driving force behind this idea is an overall desire to ensure that
tasks encountered in day-to-day usage are straightforward, robust & safe
to perform. Packaging tools such RPM / APT do not neccessarily provide the
ideal balance for those factors in the context of a desktop where at least
some portion of users must be expected to have zero-UNIX experiance.

Summarising this I'd choose a couple of quotes from the 0Install website:

 "You don't have to be root just to install a word-processor, 
  or its documentation."

Taking this further, why should there need to be any (user-visible) concept
of installing software at all. If I'm at a webpage where an  application is
available, why should I need to download it, change to root, and then install
it before running it, when I could just click and link & have it run immediately.
Now the system will obviously download software & do some form of 'install'
operation, but this is not exposed to the user.

 "It doesn't matter whether software is installed or not"

So when we say 'no package manager', we're not saying that there isn't a
package manager on the system. What we are saying is that the desktop user
is not *exposed* to the concept of package manager in the traditional sense.
So there is no technical reason preventing 2 apps sharing a library, even
if we chose an alternate interaction model for application deployment. Indeed
the 0-install system has full support for dependancies if desired:

http://zero-install.sourceforge.net/doc.html

Dan.

> 
> On Tue, 2006-03-14 at 03:11 +0700, James Clark wrote:
> > I'm intrigued by the comments in
> > 
> > http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/OLPC/Goals
> > 
> > to the effect that there won't be any need for a package manager.
> > 
> > I can see that by constraining the platform you may not need a package
> > manager to manage the platform itself, but won't you still need a
> > package manager to allow users to install, uninstall and update the
> > applications that are built on top of the platform?  
> > 
> > I guess you could avoid a package manager using the one directory per
> > application approach.  Is that what you have in mind?
> > 
> > James
> > 
> > 
> > --
> > olpc-software mailing list
> > olpc-software redhat com
> > https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/olpc-software
> -- 
> Jim Gettys
> One Laptop Per Child
> 
> 
> --
> olpc-software mailing list
> olpc-software redhat com
> https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/olpc-software

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