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Packaging LSB packages - a first glimpse

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In my opinion the current software-packaging/software-install system for Linux systems is a crappy thing:

Every distribution packages the most interesting and important packages for itself: KDE stuff, GNOME, compiler, apache, and add on packages like firefox. Therefore, each work is repeated not only twice but dozens of times. For Suse, for Fedora Core, for Ark Linux, for Debian, for Ubuntu, and so on. And the packages are usually not compatible between the different distributions.

This is dumb - I must know it because I’m part of the game (I package ktorrent and rsibreak for Fedora Core).

The reasons behind this is well known: there was no standard at the beginning, and therefore everyone did it his/her own way. These ways were different sometimes, depending on the roots of the packager. The result is as already mentioned: duplicate work (ha, if only, multiplicate work is closer to the truth), incompatibility - and the worst result is that software for Linux is usually released as the source code only, without any chance for an average computer user to install it.

Full Story.

Dumb, dumb, dumb

Fortunately, Mandriva lets me use OpenOffice, Firefox and Thunderbird straight from and the Mozilla Foundation.

Why Mandi and other distros find it necessary to make a mess of such good software by cobbling together their own versions has always baffled me. Especially when their operating systems (surely their raison d'etre) are in such dire need of repair. Wouldn't that be a better way to spend their resources?

Why can't I readily install exactly the same software on one distro as I install on another?

An OS gem

It's not really a problem.

With things like Autopackage available it shouldn't be a problem for vendors to package non critical applications like the ones you mentioned. System critical applications from the repository, games and other software from Loki installers, Bitrock and Autopackage. It's not the distibutors that's the problem, it's the vendors not paying attention.

The original point

The original point, I thought, was that the distros are all working on basically the same software.

Only it isn't exactly the same because they mess around with it to make it comply with the idiosyncrasies they've decided to use in their OS (like piling everything up in /usr/lib).

And it isn't compatible with the "same" software on another distro because it's idiosyncratic and because they've decided in their muleheadedness that they can make OpenOffice better than or Firefox better than the Mozilla Foundation.

An example. I installed the (then) latest version of Thunderbird on my newly installed Fedora 5 but couldn't run it because a C++ library (.so.5) wasn't installed or even included in the DVD sized FC installer. Instead they had .so.4.x, upgradeable to .so.4.x+ and .so.6 somewhere or other.

So, I had to go to the Fedora forum to find out what jiggery-pokery was required; I got the info but, also, lectures about installing software ONLY from the repositories and how dare I, as a newbie, question the wise judgment of the wizards at FC and the wizards on the FC forum? Jeepers, creepers. There was I thinking that the purpose of an OS was to enable a person to run apps.

For seekers only

But the truth is.

I shall only comment on the /usr/lib issue as it's called, following standards.
The same story goes for other Unices and clones. Some follow them as they should, some invent their own variants. Personally I don't like Fedora, actually I hated everything since Redhat 8.0 as it became so flawed.

Let's hope for a decent option

Sooner or later, I suppose, only the strong will survive and standards will apply. I just hope Ubuntu, Fedora and SuSE are not the only options. I dislike all of them.

I did not realise there is a "/usr/lib issue".

For seekers only

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.

Take a look into our world and you will understand how things work.

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

All good stuff, I'm sure. Like the LSB and the Portland project and I forget the other names. I'm all in favour of common standards and hope the day arrives.

From your link:

Still, the vast majority of the Linux distributions, including those developed by members of the Free Standards Group, do not follow this proposed standard.

Isn't that the point?

For seekers only

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