Re: Simplifying package installation.

Derek Simkowiak wrote:

>         Problem 1: .tar.gz-distributed applications do not register
> themselves in any applications database.  Hence, they have problems that
> make them difficult to install and administer: they cannot verify
> dependencies, cannot confirm the "correct" directory structure expected by
> Gnome, cannot run post-install scripts or post un-install scripts, and
> cannot check to see if a previous (or more up-to-date) version of the app
> is installed.

Not necessarilly.  The .app system could contain install information
that the filemanager uses to adjust the user's per-application Gnome
information.  The first time the program is run (say, by double-clicking
on the icon in the filemanager window), the filemanager runs the .app
install program, which sets up the proper Gnome environment for the
user.  At this time, the program can register itself as a mime-type
handler, perhaps.  And, if the program fails any dependencies, the
install program can offer to fetch and install any missing packages,
maybe by consulting a central database on the 'net.

The same can happen during uninstall, only in reverse.
>         Problem 2: Existing package systems are not system-independent.
> Not everyone has RPM, DEB, or SLP installed.  (However, it should be noted
> that converters are available for these systems--i.e., alien)

(APM == Application Package Manager.  I'm using this term merely for
convenience-- I'm not seriously proposing this accronym.)

Since the proposal mentioned using an APM-aware window manager, I assume
the APM system needs installed anyway.  So perhaps something like Alien
could be integrated fairly simply.
>         Problem 3: Even RPMs and DEBs require root access to the
> applications database to install new packages.

There could be two databases-- one for the system, and one for
end-users.  Either db could take precedence; I don't suppose it matters
much.  But, if the system-wide db takes precedence and the same
application is installed system-wide and in the user's home, the
sysadmin might optionally set a flag to allow the user's application to
run, instead of the system's application.

If the APM assumes a desktop system (like Gnome or KDE), the desktop
could handle the backend functions.  Also, a filemanager might have the
necessary DB hooks to handle a user's installation, at least.


Anyway, that's just my opinion.  I could be wrong.

						- Tony

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