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Software installation on Linux: Tomorrow, it won’t (part 2)

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In part 1, I described the problem of software installation on Linux; in part 2, I’ll describe the solution we came up with at the recent LSB Packaging Summit.

After reading through the comments to part 1, let me first point out that our goal is to create a vibrant third party software ecosystem around Linux—you know, like the one Microsoft has built around Windows. No, it’s not about imitating Microsoft. It’s about being competitive. A platform is only as good as the applications that run on it.

Bottom line: Many third parties have built their businesses around proprietary software, and we can’t just ignore them. And “ecosystem” implies decentralized, which I argued in part 1 was a key tenet of open source development anyway, i.e., this should be playing to one of our core strengths. So, if your “solution” is to tell ISVs (independent software vendors) to give us their source code so the distributions can include it because that’s just how we do things, you can safely skip the rest of the post below. You’re simply not going to agree that any of this is a problem.

Ok. Assuming our goal is to create a vibrant third party software ecosystem (and everyone still reading agrees that’s a good goal, right?), we have the following challenges.

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