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Wolfheart Manimal

Cross-distro Second Life packaging for Linux (Zero Install)

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If the Linux viewer was packaged using Zero Install, it would be cross-distro and only a single package would be needed.  Zero Install is available in most distro repositories, and is the only real decent cross-distro packaging solution that I'm aware of.  Please check out the website and consider supporting this universal Linux packaging solution, one sorely needed by Linux users.

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

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It's not that hard to make a universal RPM for the folks stuck in the past, and a .deb that works with both the current stable Debian and Ubuntu releases, and that wouldn't require asking people to install and learn yet another package manager.  If we wanted 80-zillion ways to install a package, we'd use Windows.

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Wolfheart Manimal wrote:

If the Linux viewer was packaged using Zero Install, it would be cross-distro and only a single package would be needed.  Zero Install is available in most distro repositories, and is the only real decent cross-distro packaging solution that I'm aware of.  Please check out the website and consider supporting this universal Linux packaging solution, one sorely needed by Linux users.


 

I prefer the 'download and unpack the packaged viewer and run the shell script without installation' way very much and would never install a viewer using any deb, rpm or whatever packaged first.

Jeannie

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The problem with precompiled tarball style of packaging is multifold.

 

  • Statically linked binaries require shipping libraries with it or compiled into the software directly, many of these libraries you already have installed for other software.  This redundancy wastes space.  Well-managed, dynamically linked software such as that your distribution provides is a major reason why your typical Linux desktop with several games, collaboration software, office productivity software, and professional level 3d rendering, graphics and video editing software comes in around 6-8GB, whereas a comparable setup in Windows would easily take up 10 times the space.
  • This is a variation on the same failed methodology of software distribution that makes Windows and commercial MacOS software such a pain in the tail to maintain and bloated to install.
  • Software installation in user-writeable locations (as opposed to system locations which are typically only writable by root)  is a security risk, as any software, including malware, the user runs intentionally or inadvertently, could cause the software not to function properly as a best case, or infect the software itself with malware or viruses in a worst case.  This is why the "let's give everyone administrator rights by default" concept Windows uses out of the box fundamentally vulnerable, even with experienced users who do everything right.
  • Encouraging poor packaging practices only serves vendors (such as Linden Lab) to continue Doing It Wrong™ for the sake of their own convenience, with consumers paying the price.

Jean Horten wrote:

 

I prefer the 'download and unpack the packaged viewer and run the shell script without installation' way very much and would never install a viewer using any deb, rpm or whatever packaged first.

Given everything mentioned above, why?

 

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Why I won't want to install?

That's simple, it's more convenient for me just to download, unpack, run ; i don't want the inconvenience of  messing around with installed packages and have all my menus full with the different viewer entries, they'd spam my menus.

Besides this, getting rid of a viewer that has not been installed but simply extracted and run is also simple: Move it to the trash and it's gone.

Jeannie

 

 

 

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What's so hard about sudo dpkg -i <filename> to install and sudo dpkg --purge secondlife to uninstall, given the benefits of using common libraries and letting the filesystem permissions protect you from malicious software and user error?  I'm not sure I can relate about the menus...you have a menu editor to weed out superfluous entries (you can find it in GNOME by right clicking on the applications menu), though, ultimately you shouldn't have software installed that you aren't using anyway.

Plus, if the Lindens used standard packaging tools, then it's a trivial step for them to create a repository:  you could apt-get it directly using Synaptic (or your preferred tool) to download and install it in one shot, and not have to worry about having to manually maintain updates.

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What's so hard?

I have to open a terminal and type and I am not the keyboard focussed computer user.

If I download a tar ball, unpack it and run the shell script, I don't have to type one single letter, same with dragging the unwanted viewer to the trash, everything can be done with the mouse.

I said; I want it as convenient as possible and harddisk space is no problem, still 0.9 tb on my HDDs left.

Besides that: Why should install something that can be run without any installation?

If I wanted to install any single piece of software, I'd use windows...

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Jean Horten wrote:

What's so hard?

I have to open a terminal and type and I am not the keyboard focussed computer user.

 

 

 

As previously mentioned, there are graphical tools for doing this.  If the Lindens set up a package repository for their software, that would reduce the effort for downloading the latest version and installing it to a single click.

 

 


Jean Horten wrote:

If I download a tar ball, unpack it and run the shell script, I don't have to type one single letter, same with dragging the unwanted viewer to the trash, everything can be done with the mouse.

I said; I want it as convenient as possible and harddisk space is no problem, still 0.9 tb on my HDDs left.

Besides that: Why should install something that can be run without any installation?

If I wanted to install any single piece of software, I'd use windows...

The benefits of smaller package size resulting from dependency management and lower memory usage from only having to load one copy of the same library into memory would be a performance benefit even if you have the hard disk space to burn.  Greater security from taking advantage of filesystem permissions out of the box trumps all.

 

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