[LAD] Releasing source code is not enough, I think...

R. Mattes rm at mh-freiburg.de
Tue Jan 21 13:06:24 UTC 2014

On Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:40:23 +0000, Fons Adriaensen wrote
> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 05:55:04AM +0000, Filipe Coelho wrote:
> > I think we should stop assuming releasing source code is enough.
> Enough for what ? Users who don't want to install from source
> want packages made for the package manager of their distro,
> which will take care of dependencies etc. You can't expcect a
> developer to provide such packages for each and every distro.
> I don't even provide them for the distro I use myself.

Finally some wise words. Thanks.
I think most posters so far totally underestimate the part of
the distribution. Distributing software as part of a distribution
is much more than just compiling the binary and putting it into
a package.

> > [GNU/] Linux is getting more user friendly,
> Depends very much on what you understand by 'user friendly'.

Again, I think "Linux" stands for "some distributions".

> > and most users are not able to compile software,
> They can learn to do it. It's not rocket science.
And even if they can't: use your distribution's package or file a
request for packaging. There might even be valid reasons for why
a package is not availabe in the newest version.

> > plus some distributions make it specially hard (debian, ubuntu,
> > fedora, opensuse) by having the libs installed but not the headers.
> They all provide 'devel' packages as well. Why they split things
> up is another question, IMHO it's a silly thing to do. Usually
> the space taken by the headers is small fraction of the total.

Space is _not_ the reason for these splits. On Unix it's perfectly
ok to have several versions of a library installed in parallel. But it's
not possible to install several versions of the header files in parallel.
Thats a result of the way C handles includes.

> > Releasing software on windows or mac, even open-source, *always*
> > comes in a binary, and most users come from there.
> And why do they want to change ? To get 'free as in beer' software ?
> Then they should accept that this comes at a price: a small effort
> from their side.
> > Now, I have a "toolchain" repository for ubuntu 10.04 with gcc4.8,
> > python3+qt4 and a bunch of other useful stuff.
> Unless that toolchain can magically create packages for all major
> distros (and I'm pretty sure it can't do that), what's the point ?

I found that part amusing. Does the OP really claim a toolchain that
can create binaries tha run native on 32bit inteloids as well as on
64 bit AMD/Intel. Will his binary run on my PPC (Mac Mini, great tool
to run Aeolus). Not even speaking of the plentitude of (binary-incompatible)
ARM processors. And do theses binaries magically create MMX/SSE/SSE2 instructions
on thoses CPUs that don't have them? Or are we blessed with binaries with
all optimizations dissabled?

Such a toolchain is either fantastic or ridiculous.

N.B.: I love the idea of "More binaries for small and obscure software, ..."
Yeah - obscure software (from obscure websites?), as a binary blob. Just
double-click to install (and, pleeeease, run it a root :-)

I'm getting old :-/

 Cheers, RalfD

> Ciao,
> --
> FA
> A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
> It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
> and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)
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R. Mattes -
Hochschule fuer Musik Freiburg
rm at inm.mh-freiburg.de

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