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James Antill - Software packaging, and the 10 × 10 problem

Jun. 20th, 2007

05:09 am - Software packaging, and the 10 × 10 problem

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From:fanf
Date:June 20th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Dependancies aren't as big a problem as assumed

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Right, treating apps and their deps as a group is basically what I'd like to achieve. It's easy to install a new app and pull in its dependencies automatically if you can be certain that this will not disrupt a running system. If each dependency is a separate package then you get sharing where possible.

Regarding your Evolution/gtk example, I'd say that if you are a heavy user of a gtk application then you don't want your work disrupted by a forced upgrade to the latest version just because Evolution wanted a new gtk. So the problem is not that gtk can't change, it's that you need to keep the old version around to support the important application.

The main difficulty with solving the multiple versions problem is that autoconf and libtool are built on the assumption that there's one of each thing on the system installed in a "usual" place. Fixing build scripts so that they work when you break this assumption is a tedious and soul-destroying occupation.
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