see that idiot, asa, insult linux again ;-) at oscon


After my recent blog post on the Linux desktop, I was invited to keynote the article at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference. Since I was already headed up to Portland to present on Mozilla (with Chase) I agreed. So, if you're interested in seeing me get pummled with rotten vegetables (or you want to participate) for about half an hour, get yourself over to OSCON in the early morning of August 5th.

Oh, and I've been "published" at ZDNet.

And just in case anyone was wondering, I still believe in the points I made in the original post. More on that in upcoming days.



Those O'Reilly folks were nuts enough to give me a 15 minute slot one morning too. Something about Yahoo! and Open Source, whatever that is. :-)

Whats funny is that they'd even find what you said offensive. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. :/ Get with it Linux...

While I wholely agree with you, Asa, I am still sad I can't make it to throw vegetables at you. ;)


Is it true that the Mozilla Foundation was bought by Google? If so, well, our worst fears are true!

Alex: No, and I think you need to get a life.

Alex: No, Mozilla Foundation was actually bought by an SCO-Microsoft consortium. (SCOX 51%, MSFT 49%). ;-))

The whole incompatibility issue is your own(mozilla's) fault and you know it. If I could make it there I'd throw a vegetable for sure.

Why don't you take responsibility for making your software compatible instead of trying to blame everybody else. Seriously.

I am not an anti-mozilla person. I use gtkmozembed in an application or 2, it just gets me that you'll try to blame a distribution's packaging of a specific version of the c++ runtime to make the argument that all of linux is not ready for the desktop, that's absurd.

Beer, I disagree. Fedora could continue shipping the compatibility libraries. Windows doesn't break Firefox with nearly the regularity that Linux has over the past 6 years.

Asa, I don't disagree with your viewpoint just how you handled it...I'm not going to comment too much here so I did it on my own blog Being an idiot or being an public idiot meh.

"Beer, I disagree. Fedora could continue shipping the compatibility libraries."

Fedora isn't your software. Neither is windows. You make software that you want to run on those platforms. For better or for worse, you know what runtimes are available on each platform, and you can write your software to either work or not work.

What if you did use MFC4.2.dll for firefox or some other Mozilla app, and it wasn't on longhorn?

Would you even make this huge deal about it on your blog labouriously blaming microsoft for not bundling some old c++ related runtime?

Of course not, you'd package your app linked to a brand new version of msvcrt/msvcp/mfc whatever and you'd happily be on your way.

Why not just rpmbuild -bb firefox___ and have your .bin installer use glibc instead, pam into root uid, and rpm -Uh firefox___ as the last step of your GUI installer?

Why? I have no idea. You could display the -h param of rpm as your progress bar even. Then package an installer for SuSE9.3, FC4, Mandriva10.2 and other new releases, and that would be that.

It really would be that simple if you absolutely wouldn't want to use RPM directly because it's not as pretty or whatever.

There are ways to make it "just work", but you obviously don't care to explore those avenues. I'm going to stop complaining about it myself here, because I use firefox and I think it's a great app. I have also never downloaded firefox from mozilla, because I use the RPM's for each distro to insure compatibility.
Nothing is stopping you from overcoming this challenge though.

It really has nothing to do with linux and everything to do with the developer's responsibility to make their app work on the platform.

Beer, the difference between Windows and Linux here is that Windows does not break compatibility with applications nearly as often as Linux. If and when Windows does make it so we can't run the same Firefox build on win2k, winXP and Longhorn, you bet I'll make a big deal about it (but I'll bet they don't break us.)

- Asa

Windows thrives on binary compatibility, because most of the apps are pay and closed source. It's system libraries are not side-by-side versioned like stdc++ and glibc, they are inplace updated so the update overwrites the old one with the same version #.

Linux isn't windows. As a firefox linux user, I vote that you guys rpmbuild firefox and thunderbird for major distributions instead of doing the .bin.
Firefox and thunderbird already are built by distributers anyway and come with the distro's now adays. I've been using linux since98, so I remember when they didn't.

Each user has their own data in ~/.mozilla anyway so you don't need to go installing copies all over the file system.

I feel that your argument boils down to Linux isn't windows, linux stinks, type of thing, and I feel that's unfair. OK, Now I'm done....

Asa, in case you can do anything about it, there is a typo in the link to your blog entry on oreillynet, desktp vs. desktop.

marcoos: Microsoft? NOOOO!

Beer, Linux breaks compatibility all of the time -- even when it doesn't have to!! All Fedora (yes, I'm picking up on them) has to do is ship the compat library and everything would be fine. Windows is a big success, in part because it doesn't break apps regularly. Windows takes compatibility with existing software very seriously and Linux does not. It's not hard to do on Linux. Fedora and Red Hat were doing it just fine until the compat library mysteriously disappeared in FC3.

- A

Windows is a big success, in part because it doesn't break apps regularly.

Now I'm mad, really mad. Windows is a big success because of this

You know why these CD's are still in the wrapper? It's because i'm not a windows user. I put my linux install cd's in and didn't even so much go into the win bootloader or agree to the EULA. Yet I had to pay $40-$80 for the OEM license. There was a big case about this at the DOJ before GW Bush became president and the whole lawsuit was suddenly settled and pushed under the carpet.

If people even had the option of getting another OS with their computers, microsoft wouldn't have half the users it has today. SuSE is there, why can't it be shipped with PC's? It is in Europe and so is Mandriva.

They MAKE you buy windows, whether you use it or not and that's a fact. That sir is why windows is "a big success".
The Yugo would be the biggest success on earth today if every time you went to the dealership you had no choice but to buy one.

Beer, you're clearly over-simplifying. I said "in part" and I believe that. You can be as mad as you like, but that doesn't change the fact that Windows developers don't have to worry about every release of the OS breaking all of their work the way that Linux developers do. If you don't believe that satisfying developers is a big part of the reason for Windows' success, then you're just not very in touch with the real world.

- A

Maybe Internet Explorer, with all it's holes, and it's activex authenticode certs having been sold to spyware and porno companies, is the real reason that it has about 90% of the browser share.

It couldn't be because it's bundled with windows, and built into the shell with it's COM clsid, and that you are pretty much not allowed to buy a built PC or laptop without the windows operating system OEM fee.

I'm not saying that linux is the easiest platform to develop for, but that's not the reason Windows is the most used OS, and IE is the most used browser. It's pure OEM muscle power, and neither firefox, nor linux will ever have it until people either wake up or the government takes some action, which will never happen with the current administration. The EU took some action and good for them.

In the end we have to use what we either know or what we happen to get, or we like, and most people don't have the luxery of knowing about the latter.

At any rate, nice job on firefox, it's probably the app I use the most.

Stability is definitely the strongest argument here. Imagine being able to compile a program in Red Hat 7.3 and just run the binary in Ubuntu 5.04. That is entirely possible in Windows, for example by compiling in Windows 98 and then run in Windows XP. Asa is absolutely right in that making software development reliable and stable across OS versions is a big part of the reason for Windows' success.

It depends what libraries you use. If you use glibc and gtk+, your app is going to run everywhere. That's basically why realbasic linux works, the "visual basic 6" for linux.

I think LSB 2.0 has C++ support, but I'm not even sure. C++ is not the prefered coding language for most linux libraries and applications. It's growing, but it's not there yet. I use C++ to make linux applications and I know you have to be aware of certain things when using C++ runtimes.

That's why I package stuff with RPM's and list deps in spec files.

If they don't want to use RPM, which is the LSB standard package manager, then that's their right, and I guess it's their right to complain also.

So you don't like Linux because they break compatibility with existing software. Hmm. Kind of like how Firefox upgrades break compatibility with existing extensions?

We do make a single Linux binary that runs on _a_lot_ of Linux systems (if they ship the compat-libstdc++ library) We make a single Windows binary that runs on more than five years of Window releases and service packs. In this deparment, Windows wins. The Windows team pays a lot more attention to not breaking application developers than most Linux distros.

- A

Don't bother making a linux version then if you're going to be that way.

I'd rather use Konqueror or another browser and get gtkmozembed out of my apps if you guys at mozilla are going to be that way about linux.

You know the difference between 1 distribution of windows and 4 or 5 major distributions of linux, and you probably also know that there are compatibility issues that you have to face as a developer, yet you choose to ignore then and lay the blame on the linux system in general or a distro or 2 because they happened not to include a dependancy for your application.

Had you RPM'd different versions and listed your version of libstdc++ as a dependancy or simply listed the package name for each RPM in the spec file, none of this would have happened. I make rpm's for SuSE and Fedora Core, and I release sources and SRPM. You guys wanted the whole GUI installer thing, so you have to deal with that.

I think if you're going to have a bad attitude about linux development, that you may as well not do it. It doesn't sound like you even want to make a linux version. The people that produce fedora core don't directly make money on it. Nobody makes tons of cash for RPM'ing FC4 software. Yet you sit here and complain like they have a campus in Redmond next door to Microsoft Corp HQ.

Don't think you're holding Linux OS's up with your 1 single browser application or thunderbird, you're not. I can just as easily use Opera, Konqueror, and go back to using Ximian evolution.

So can other users. Way to rag on our OS. BTW, Bill said the check's in the mail and to pat yourself on the back. You also scored free tickets to PDC.

I'm sort of half way between Beer and Asa's position on the subject of Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird Linux RPMs. I think it's the Linux distro vendor's responsibility to make the RPMs (because you can't make a single RPM that works across all distros and multiple versions of each distro - even Beer would have to agree about that), but I also think it's the Mozilla Foundation's responsibility to make the creation of those RPMs as easy as possible for the distro vendors.

I personally think that the Moz folks should collaborate with all the major distros and sort out a generatable RPM spec file (yes, it would have to be created by a program I suspect) which could then be used to create a .src.rpm and, ultimately, the appropriate binary RPMs. I still don't expect the Moz folks to distribute *any* RPMs (even the .src.rpm's), but they should make it so that either the Linux distro folks or even Joe Bloggs down the street can take the source .tar.gz and produce a .src.rpm (and binary RPMs) with minimal effort. This way, the current time lag between the Linux source/binary .tar.gz/installer and the distro's RPMs appearing would be down to a day or two, not 1-2 weeks like it currently is.

Once the process gets more streamlined, the Linux distros that have co-operated with the scheme could sort out some linking arrangement with, so that when the source/binary RPMs for Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird appear on their respositories, they could be linked to from automatically. I think this would be the ultimate win-win situation for the Moz Foundation, the Linux distros and, ultimately, the end-users, who get to update their Moz goodies much more quickly.

Richard, you said "(because you can't make a single RPM that works across all distros and multiple versions of each distro - even Beer would have to agree about that)"

Why is that? I can make a single binary that works across all contemporary versions of Windows. This is one of the problems I'm trying to highlight.

Firefox makes a binary for Linux that runs on a lot of distros and versions but Linux distros make that hard, especially when they drop compatibility libraries from their default installs.

- A

Binary incompatibility between Linux distros is a major problem, right? It should be addressed by The Linux Community, right? I think that's what the LSB (Linux Standard Base) is for.. Right?

How is FedoraCore4 doing on the LSB front? Is it compatible? Then those standards aren't good enough. Is it not compatible? Then, energy should be focused on that, not on bashing various applications that are not willing to ship a zillion different binaries to a gazillion different distros.

So let's focus on improving Linux Standards, and take constructive critisism from people like Asa to our hearts.

(Actually, I don't know what I'm talking about, I just wanted to make a comment in this debate to be cool. Sorry.)


I think what you're looking for is a SRPM.
If they would publish an SRPM, it would take about a second for SuSE, Mandriva and Fedora to rpmbuild it for each distro.

rpmbuild will actually spit out a SRPM for them from the tar.gz and the spec file, which they can put on the site for people to build.

I never wrote that 1 rpm would work on every distro. The whole point of having RPM distribution is that every distro could have an RPM that works for it.
Distributing SRPM's for repackagers, and RPM's for others, would be the most elegant solution.

This whole business with the install shield alike installer and the whole, we must have GUI forms to help with the install is nonsense. That's only going to lead the user to install Firefox in the wrong place where it can't effectively be shared or used by another program.

What if Mozilla components were installed in random directory and an application needed gtkmozembed and it was in the wrong place?

With RPM, it's installed in the right place every time and each user has their own personal data in their ~/.mozilla folder, so it's nice.

I don't get this whole thing with windows emulation on linux?

Linux is a much better system, why would you want to turn it into windows?

hast du �berhaupt schon einmal an einem linux desktop gearbeitet ?
anscheinend nicht, sonst w�rdest du nicht solchen m�ll schreiben !
ich finde das au�erordendlich dreist und inkompetent.
auch wenn Mr. ASA Dotzler meint er w�sste alles besser viel besser.
also du m�chtegern linux nutzer, nur weil du zu wennig ahnung von der materie hat
kannst du dir noch lange nicht alles erlauben.
hier in deutschland bekommt man f�r solch fachlich inkompetenten und falschen aussagen gleich mal eine auf's "dach" !

also Mr.ASA Dotzler, vorsicht und viel gl�ck beim n�chsten " Is Linux ready for desktops postings" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111

mfg Linuxuser

"That's only going to lead the user to install Firefox in the wrong place where it can't effectively be shared or used by another program."

Another application can find the install directory of Firefox by traversing the HKCU\Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Firefox subtree, looking for "Install Directory" keys.

"With RPM, it's installed in the right place every time and each user has their own personal data in their ~/.mozilla folder, so it's nice."

On Windows, the user specific profile is always in %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox, so it's nice.

"Linux is a much better system, why would you want to turn it into windows?"

This discussion so far has mostly revolved around binary compatibility, and it's a far stretch to "become Windows" just because of that.

I in some way agree with Asa. You can make one binary for Windows that any person (including my grandparents and great-grandparents) can find on the web, download, and run and it will install correctly on any version of Windows (be it 98 to XP). Most of the time, I don't have to worry about what version of Windows I am using, it just works. I do have to concede, though, that there are programs that can only work on "modern" Windows (XP, 2000+), but that is because they are using newer code.

Now for Linux, say I am running a Gentoo box, Ubuntu box, Fedore Core 2 and 4, RHEL 4, and Debian. I find a cool program that I like and run it on my Gentoo box. With Gentoo, I can just emerge. So I tell my wife (who uses the Ubuntu) to get it. Instead of emerging there, I have to apt-get or I can use the graphical manager. Now, at work I want it to, but there I have 2 Fedora Core versions plus the RHEL 4. Now, I have to go search for the rpms so I can rpmbuild it. You tell me how simple that was. Sure, I can do it. I have had to learn it as I worked on those type of systems, and I don't consider myself an expert. But, why can't I just go to, find the program, download it and it will install on every single one of my boxes without problems. I don't want a SRPM, because then I have to do some extra things on the command line. (Actually, it wouldn't bother me, but it would sure confuse my wife, my parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents). It needs to be some graphical installer. Why? Because people usually understand the graphical business much better than an emerge -pvuD command.

So, yes, Linux distros should have a standard on installing new software. Sure they can all have their yum, emerge, apt-get, but there should also be a file that any one can download, and it installs without any library compatibility problem. When linux gets to the point where anyone can download a software off of and install it on any distro, then I think linux is ready for the desktop. Because then, software companies (that make proprietary software) can make their software and package it in an installer that will just work in any linux distro. Windows is doing this with .msi files. I think linux distros need to get together and come up something that is as good and better than the .msi but is as easy for the users.

"Another application can find the install directory of Firefox by traversing the HKCU\Software\Mozilla\Mozilla Firefox subtree, looking for "Install Directory" keys."

You mean the same registry that's used by spyware to change clsid's of core applications, install toolbars in your IE, and generally steal your information?

Are we talking about the same windows registry, the ntuser.dat that can't be read in plain text?

The registry that viruses generously use to comprimise tens of thousands of machines everyday?

The biggest shared resource on windows, that has NO SECURITY to stop other programs from modifying it?

Ah, yes, that registry. You're right, what a godsend.
Much better than /lib and /bin dir's. Registry/COM is where it's at, what was I thinking.

Let's make linux into windows and throw a big pillow fight to celebrate!

Navert is right and Asa too. If linux people are so blind to see that users just want an installer we shouldn't care about linux yet. Look at Debian and learn something, still with a black and white installer, sure it rocks and works flawesly in hundreds of different processors, but everybody went to Ubuntu.

The Mozilla fundation learned it with Mozilla 1.0 which was an "omigod" disaster for Joe user and they just made it right with Firefox, so right they are reaching a huge audience.

It's not making linux into windows it's about if you want linux to get the desktop or not. I don't see the point on writing a book nobody understands, this happens with Linux and you know what? Users don't care because they use windows and they see no reason to switch.

Go Asa!

"Navert is right and Asa too. If linux people are so blind to see that users just want an installer we shouldn't care about linux yet"

I as a linux user don't need a GUI installer, I don't want one. Most linux users don't want or need gui installers.

We can type something as simple as

yum install firefox

and boom, our package manager interface goes on the net, scans repositories and downloads all the software and dependancies automatically.

Windows has no such advanced installation or package management system.

SuSE has it with YaST and Mandriva with URPMI. There are so many repositories for Fedora and friends it's rediculous. Dag, Dries, Freshrpms, JPackages, ect...

There are other repos for mandriva and SuSE. Those are the big 3 I use.

If all you had to do was type "install new photoshop" on windows, wait a couple seconds and click a menu item to start it, would you be complaining?

It's the best system on earth. These people just don't know it. They absolutely insist on windows emulation, because that's what they think people want.


"because you can't make a single [binary package] that works across all distros and multiple versions of each distro - even Beer would have to agree about that"

I'd disagree with that. Autopackage is getting very very close to this goal already. Although, it seems the autopackages are having some issues with Fedora's missing libraries too, but that's Fedora's fault.

That repository system may be fine for a few "old" linux users...but it's not going to last. The more packages these repositories house, the less likely they are to be updated in a decent amount of time and there are already many programs being released that are missing from them. The only solution to this problem is to give developers a universal format to release packages in that will install on just about any distro. To think a distro can keep track of every program released for Linux as well as it's dependencies is very short sighted. Luckily projects like Autopackage and Klik are already working on solutions for this to make Linux installation much easier and possible on just about any distro. Distributing the core system components of the distro via repository is fine, but for all other software we need a distributed installation method if we are to survive.


Not using a package manager like RPM, simply won't work.
90% of linux software is based on other packages, take perl-Video-DVDRip for example. It's a great example. It lets you rip your dvd's and make them into divx or mpeg files for VCD burning or viewing on your machine.

Very usefull and somewhat popular

take the FC4 rpm, I think it's from Freshrpms

[beer@localhost ~]$ rpm -qi perl-Video-DVDRip-0.52.5-1.2.fc4
Name : perl-Video-DVDRip Relocations: (not relocatable)
Version : 0.52.5 Vendor:
Release : 1.2.fc4 Build Date: Wed 25 May 2005 05:23:59

Ok, lets see what it requires

[beer@localhost ~]$ rpm -q --requires perl-Video-DVDRip-0.52.5-1.2.fc4
transcode >= 0.6.13
rpmlib(PayloadFilesHavePrefix) rpmlib(CompressedFileNames)

Hmmmm, you won't be able to autopackage all of that. Most software on linux is actually built upon lots of non-core libraries which are not garaunteed to be there, and the programs do not package or merge module the dependancies into large installers. That's what is refered to as bloatware.

So you can see the perl dvd encoder actually requires a few libraries, let's dig deeper shall we?

a requirement is ogmtools, so lets traverse the dependancy tree 1 step further

[beer@localhost ~]$ rpm -q --requires ogmtools
rpmlib(CompressedFileNames) rpmlib(PayloadFilesHavePrefix) [beer@localhost ~]$

ok, obviously, down the line libdvdread is required
Ok, lets see libdvdread requires as a next step down the leaves of the dependancy chain

[beer@localhost ~]$ rpm -q --requires libdvdread
libdvdcss >= 1.2.5 rpmlib(CompressedFileNames) rpmlib(PayloadFilesHavePrefix) [beer@localhost ~]$

Now this makes sense, because without libdvdcss, you could never copy and ripp css encoded DVD's, the ones you rent or buy at the store.

So it took 3 trips down the dependancy chain to find the libdvdcss requirement.
Had it not been for RPM, this WOULD HAVE BEEN A TOTAL MESS of dependancies.

Had this been windows, the author could not have written a simple perl front end to rip dvd's as he did, but would have had to package an entire something like 50 meg engine to read and rip dvd content to different encoding formats through directshow filters.


Because linux has this package management system, it allows authors that know nothing of the lower levels of dependancies to ONLY SHIP their top level application and have RPM sort it out for them.

The people that argue against this system are also the ones that don't use it and have no idea how linux really works.

Just to prove that these aren't random .so shared object files I compiled, and actual RPM dependancies

[beer@localhost ~]$ rpm -q --whatrequires libdvdcss
[beer@localhost ~]$

You can work your way back up from the bottom dependancies to the top with --whatrequires

[beer@localhost ~]$ rpm -qi libdvdcss
Name : libdvdcss Relocations: (not relocatable)
Version : 1.2.9 Vendor:
Release : 1.2.fc4 Build Date: Mon 11 Jul 2005 03:42:33

Don't go and tell me not to worry about it because my 3 tier down libdvdcss library should be "standard" and included with every distro.

The point being that there is a system to sort this stuff out, and by wanting to bypass it, you should deal with the consequences instead of complaining.

Beer, I think it's clear that you don't have any experience with distributing complex binaries on Linux and Windows. Until you do, please stop attempting to be an armchair developer.

Let me make a few things clear:

a) Stability is a good thing.

Stability allows people to work. Ever lived in an earthquake zone? If so then you'll know what I mean. Life is just simpler and easier when the ground doesn't shift under you all the time.

b) The Windows team are highly professional about this.

They *do* in fact install DLLs side by side; as somebody who works on the Wine project as well as autopackage I'm intimately familiar with the internals of Win32 and parallel installs are commonplace (eg with the C++ standard library!).

c) It is not "simple" to distribute apps that only use glibc and GTK+ on Linux.

You have no idea what you're talking about, sorry. We've put a LOT of work into distributing "simple" C/GTK+ apps on Linux and it's a minefield. Mostly it's due to silly policy decisions on the part of the GNU developers: unversioned headers, symbol overloading, bogus dependencies ... the list goes on and on. The apbuild tools we wrote fix a lot of these problems, but still the work is not yet done.

d) The Linux distributions are extremely *unprofessional* about stability.

They are not making any friends amongst the ISV community. Asa, an important Mozilla team member, is publically and visibly pissed off. He's not alone. This is not good!

e) ISVs bypass the current system because it's crap.

I use the word "system" in its loosest possible sense. For starters, there isn't just one system. There's a billion of them. You say "provide RPMs". Great. What about Ubuntu users? What about Gentoo users? What about Slackware users? What about tomorrows cool new distro? Secondly, nearly no distributions allow you to take an arbitrary RPM or DEB and have it depsolved using apt/yum. In fact that feature was added to yum only in Fedora Core 4, and it's non graphical, hardly documented and nearly entirely unknown. Yet you want people to rely on this?!

Basically Beer, whoever you are, I'm fed up of you pretending there isn't a problem here when countless developers - people writing actual software - are telling you there is.

As to whether Perl DVD Rip can be autopackaged, why don't you do some research before claiming what the technology can or cannot do? Have you even considered that software should be written with dependencies and installability in mind?

I have 5 titles with over 50,000 downloads, I have 2 major gnome-linux releases.

If you want links, let me know, I'll email them to you, I don't like to toot my own horn.

"There's a billion of them. You say "provide RPMs". Great. What about Ubuntu users? What about Gentoo users? What about Slackware users? What about tomorrows cool new distro?"

RPM is the Linux standard base installer, Gentoo, Ubuntu, and whatever other distro's must be compatible for them to be LSB complaint.

So their native package installers, or in Gentoo's case, the lack of a binary package installer, does not matter. You can still use RPM effectively on those platforms, or they are not LSB complaint.

Let me know if you want those links to the projects, they are clearly labeled "Beer"(me) as the author with mutiple links to other projects I lead.

For me personally, I have no problem distributing to Gentoo and Debian users, because I simply ignore them. I have the source tar.gz for people that want to make life hard on themselves. LFS users can use the sources too.

"As to whether Perl DVD Rip can be autopackaged, why don't you do some research before claiming what the technology can or cannot do? Have you even considered that software should be written with dependencies and installability in mind?"

The last I checked autopackage has no RPM compatibility, IE, it does not add information about it's packages in the RPM database, and that is a huge detriment to any redhat, mandriva, or SuSE system.

By bypassing the package manager in RPM, you are asking for trouble when the person updates thier system.

I don't know how you argue against this. Also Windows side-by-side with the clsid's describing the dll version in the registry is a pain, it's ugly, and it's a patchwork solution to a problem that easily could have been avoided.

"unversioned headers, symbol overloading, bogus dependencies"

The gtk docs and headers for different versions are stored in different directories

I use GTKmm, and I will link say against 2.4 and list gtkmm24 as the dependancy in the spec. It won't work if it's not installed. Say gtkmm20 is installed, of course you won't have binary compatibility because it's the wrong version of the library.

If you mean that some headers and declarations change between versions, of course they do. When you relink to a newer version, you have to upgrade the app to compile and link to your externs, that's normal.
When you recompile windows software, you are linking to the same old library.

If you make an MFC42 application and link it vanilla to MFC70, it won't work, it's the same difference.

"Secondly, nearly no distributions allow you to take an arbitrary RPM or DEB and have it depsolved using apt/yum. In fact that feature was added to yum only in Fedora Core 4, and it's non graphical, hardly documented and nearly entirely unknown. Yet you want people to rely on this?!"

When you write arbitrary, I assume you mean one packaged outside of the repository, without the repo signature, ect....

Most of the time, these types of rpm's are the kind people, download and double click to install, like main concept main actor, or iglooftp linux, or whatnot.

So then you have RPM, that will do dependancy checking. YaST and Mandriva drakeconf installer will depedancy check against the install CD's automatically.

As for no graphical interface, you have up2date, mandriva's panel, YaST, smart/smart-gui, you have the new redcarpet system from Novell, that's hot, you have a few choices, so it's not a question of no gui's. There may not be one for yum just yet, but there will be soon I read.

I know that these systems that work with existing linux packagers may be a threat to the success or failure of the autopackage system you are working on, and there could be some tension there, so I'll leave it at that.

As for wine, well....
I use cedega for a couple games, and I've tested wine extensively.
Maybe they shouldn't have started it, that's my opinion. It may have been a bad idea. It doesn't work super well, and longhorn will completely break compatibility because of the Avalon and managed applications that will be coming out based on the new managed API.

I think it almost wasn't worth the time and effort. It gives game devs a good excuse not to use OpenGL or make a linux version too. I kind of wish they were all like lokigames and torque.
At any rate good luck with that. Most of the win apps I've tried even with the latest wine are bugged, and I don't blame the developers one bit. What they're trying to do is undoable.

I have much hope for xen instead. SuSE9.3 pro comes standard with a xen kernel and xen is configurable in YaST.

It doesn't get any better than this, here is a snapshot of my update today, including the new firefox.

[root@localhost beer]# yum --exclude=lua update
Repository extras already added, not adding again
Setting up Update Process
Setting up repositories
dries 100% |=========================| 951 B 00:00
dag 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00
updates-released 100% |=========================| 951 B 00:00
freshrpms 100% |=========================| 951 B 00:00
base 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00
extras 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00
Reading repository metadata in from local files
primary.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 188 kB 00:01
updates-re: ################################################## 522/522
Added 28 new packages, deleted 0 old in 1.59 seconds
primary.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 42 kB 00:00
freshrpms : ################################################## 121/121
Added 2 new packages, deleted 5 old in 0.27 seconds
Excluding Packages in global exclude list
Resolving Dependencies
--> Populating transaction set with selected packages. Please wait.
---> Downloading header for firefox to pack into transaction set.
firefox-1.0.6-1.1.fc4.i38 100% |=========================| 69 kB 00:00
---> Package firefox.i386 0:1.0.6-1.1.fc4 set to be updated
---> Downloading header for bind-utils to pack into transaction set.
bind-utils-9.3.1-8.FC4.i3 100% |=========================| 27 kB 00:00
---> Package bind-utils.i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 set to be updated
---> Downloading header for bind-libs to pack into transaction set.
bind-libs-9.3.1-8.FC4.i38 100% |=========================| 29 kB 00:00
---> Package bind-libs.i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 set to be updated
---> Downloading header for mysql-server to pack into transaction set.
mysql-server-4.1.12-2.FC4 100% |=========================| 29 kB 00:00
---> Package mysql-server.i386 0:4.1.12-2.FC4.1 set to be updated
---> Downloading header for thunderbird to pack into transaction set.
thunderbird-1.0.6-1.1.fc4 100% |=========================| 64 kB 00:00
---> Package thunderbird.i386 0:1.0.6-1.1.fc4 set to be updated
---> Downloading header for mysql-devel to pack into transaction set.
mysql-devel-4.1.12-2.FC4. 100% |=========================| 25 kB 00:00
---> Package mysql-devel.i386 0:4.1.12-2.FC4.1 set to be updated
---> Downloading header for mysql to pack into transaction set.
mysql-4.1.12-2.FC4.1.i386 100% |=========================| 36 kB 00:00
---> Package mysql.i386 0:4.1.12-2.FC4.1 set to be updated
---> Downloading header for bind to pack into transaction set.
bind-9.3.1-8.FC4.i386.rpm 100% |=========================| 37 kB 00:00
---> Package bind.i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 set to be updated
--> Running transaction check

Dependencies Resolved

Package Arch Version Repository Size
bind i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 updates-released 508 k
bind-libs i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 updates-released 780 k
bind-utils i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 updates-released 144 k
firefox i386 1.0.6-1.1.fc4 updates-released 18 M
mysql i386 4.1.12-2.FC4.1 updates-released 2.8 M
mysql-devel i386 4.1.12-2.FC4.1 updates-released 2.1 M
mysql-server i386 4.1.12-2.FC4.1 updates-released 6.8 M
thunderbird i386 1.0.6-1.1.fc4 updates-released 14 M

Transaction Summary
Install 0 Package(s)
Update 8 Package(s)
Remove 0 Package(s)
Total download size: 45 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
(1/8): firefox-1.0.6-1.1. 100% |=========================| 18 MB 00:50
(2/8): bind-utils-9.3.1-8 100% |=========================| 144 kB 00:00
(3/8): bind-libs-9.3.1-8. 100% |=========================| 780 kB 00:02
(4/8): mysql-server-4.1.1 100% |=========================| 6.8 MB 00:17
(5/8): thunderbird-1.0.6- 100% |=========================| 14 MB 00:34
(6/8): mysql-devel-4.1.12 100% |=========================| 2.1 MB 00:06
(7/8): mysql-4.1.12-2.FC4 100% |=========================| 2.8 MB 00:06
(8/8): bind-9.3.1-8.FC4.i 100% |=========================| 508 kB 00:01
Running Transaction Test
Finished Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
Updating : bind-libs ####################### [ 1/16]
Updating : mysql ####################### [ 2/16]
Updating : bind-utils ####################### [ 3/16]
Updating : firefox ####################### [ 4/16]
Updating : mysql-server ####################### [ 5/16]
Updating : thunderbird ####################### [ 6/16]
Updating : mysql-devel ####################### [ 7/16]
Updating : bind ####################### [ 8/16]
Cleanup : firefox ####################### [ 9/16]
Cleanup : bind-utils ####################### [10/16]
Cleanup : bind-libs ####################### [11/16]
Cleanup : mysql-server ####################### [12/16]
Cleanup : thunderbird ####################### [13/16]
Cleanup : mysql-devel ####################### [14/16]
Cleanup : mysql ####################### [15/16]
Cleanup : bind ####################### [16/16]

Updated: bind.i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 bind-libs.i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 bind-utils.i386 24:9.3.1-8.FC4 firefox.i386 0:1.0.6-1.1.fc4 mysql.i386 0:4.1.12-2.FC4.1 mysql-devel.i386 0:4.1.12-2.FC4.1 mysql-server.i386 0:4.1.12-2.FC4.1 thunderbird.i386 0:1.0.6-1.1.fc4
[root@localhost beer]# exit
[beer@localhost ~]$ date
Wed Jul 20 18:56:35 EDT 2005
[beer@localhost ~]$

Why would I go to Mozilla's site to get it in a GUI installer when it's updated as part of the system?

Yeah, OK, why not? I stuck your email address into Google and not much came up, I'm always interested to see new software anyway. When I said you didn't have experience distributing software, I meant distributing *binaries* like commercial ISVs and projects using autopackage do. Oh sure, anybody can whack up a source tarball. Zero points for ease of use, but it's a well trodden path. What doesn't work so well is when you want MacOS/Windows style one click installs from your web page.

As to the lack of RPM integration - correct, there is none. There probably will be in future so distro upgrades/depsolvers don't overwrite autopackage installed software, but this is working around a deficiency of RPM et al, not something we can do much about. Plenty of people (including myself) use autopackage today and don't experience conflicts or issues, often because the software installed isn't in any repository. Still, it's necessary to ensure things work in all cases long term, and it's being added slowly. For instance, autopackage 1.2 can uninstall native packages if they would otherwise be overwritten/backed-up by autopackage.

You say, "RPM is the LSB standard, every distro must support them, the ones that don't can be ignored". Well I have a couple of problems with this idea.

Firstly, LSB RPMs aren't allowed to have dependencies, so making the conversation about depsolving rather academic. Once you allow dependencies, RPMs tend to become distribution specific, so we're back to square one.

Secondly, you're ignoring huge swathes of Linux users there. No distro today has enough users to be taken seriously by commercial 3rd parties such as driver or game developers. Added up all together, Linux as a whole might have. Therefore we *must* work together and *must* be seen as a cohesive whole in order to get traction outside our own little niche. This is very much a case of "united we stand, divided we fall". Simply saying anybody who doesn't use an RPM based distro can go suck rocks won't get us anywhere. Especially as "LSB compliance" is fairly meaningless to begin with (eg, Fedora isn't LSB compliant out of the box despite being RPM based).

OK, so as to why you'd use a GUI installer instead of getting it updated automatically, well they aren't mutually exclusive. Firefox 1.2 will apparently not only have a good auto-update system built in, but it'll be better than the yum upgrade system (binary delta based so much kinder to dialup users and mirrors). Being a one-click install doesn't mean you can't have automatic updates.

"Yeah, OK, why not? I stuck your email address into Google and not much came up, I'm always interested to see new software anyway."

This is my personal email address. I told you to email me if you wanted links to my software titles. Instead you took it upon yourself to try to find my software based on an email address?

You are a clown. The offer is still open, email me and I'll get you the links to the software I work on and have released for various companies.

"No distro today has enough users to be taken seriously by commercial 3rd parties such as driver or game developers. "

That must be why maya for linux is for Redhat and SuSE systems exclusively.
Wait, maya's not a commericial professional software product? What was I talking about.

Contact me via email if you want links, I am not going to post them here and you won't find them using that email address.

Asa, you are soooo right.

It's time that the developer weenies took notice of the real world.

Ordinary Joes need things to just work. They need them to just work "now". They've got better things to do than play around with their computer. To them, it's just a means to an end. Most people probably don't even care what OS they are using.

Linux could have been ready for the desktop, or even taken over the world, a few years ago, if people had put emphasis on getting it ready. The linux people need to reduce the risk and reduce the barriers for changing.

Question: Why don't people change to Linux? Most people don't even try it because it's too much trouble.

Strong words, I apologize if I offended anybody.

How is a computer illiterate person supposed to understand and use linux? How will they even choose which distro to use?

I think I made an important point above: most people don't care what OS they use. That's something to think about.

"How is a computer illiterate person supposed to understand and use linux? How will they even choose which distro to use?"

Who says they're supposed to?

If you don't wanna learn anything or use a computer, guess what? You don't have to. Nobody is putting a gun to your head to use linux or even a computer.

Use a pen and paper, use the telephone for god's sake.
Get your news by watching TV.

Back 12 years ago I was using MSDOS, it was hard, lacked any good commands and was probably the most user unfriendly operating system on earth, courtesy of Micro-soft corporation.

Did I cry like a little baby making sh_t posts on a blog on the local bulletin board service through my modem?

NO. I learned how to use it. There are plenty of resources to effectively use linux, if you don't want to use linux, DON'T. It's as easy as that. Nobody is asking you to, least of all Linus Torvalds, linux's creator. He made linux for FUN. For FUN, everybody else tried to spin it out and took it out of context into what it is today.

I think you people are simply pathetic.

I use linux because I want to, because I like it, and because I'm willing to learn the new technologies that come out on it. When Red Carpet came out, I didn't go on a crying fit because it was a new update system, I read some docs on google and used it. It's that simple.

If you want a system where you can put mittens on and banter on the keyboard like a 2 year old, get a mac.


"If you want a system where you can put mittens on and banter on the keyboard like a 2 year old, get a mac."

Fanstastic. That's brilliant. It's almost exactly what I was thinking. I'm glad you understand. It's good to actually converse with somebody that knows where I'm coming from.

All the guys at Apple need to do now is to make it easy for people to try the mac (the mac mini is a good start), and easy for people to switch back to Windows if they want to. Then we could see some interesting developments in market share.


Monthly Archives