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Author Topic: I really wanted to like the .package installer, it's a great  (Read 6145 times)

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« on: May 02, 2009, 03:44:20 am »

I really wanted to like the .package installer, it's a great idea - messy installation is one of Linux's most obvious bad points...

but my first experience with it was disappointing to say the least.

-First it is a script file instead of a binary file Sad.  Smaller sure, but I don't want to have to change it's permissions to executable, that sucks.  If .package were competing financially in a marketplace it would lose to a format that doesn't do this.

-It needed to install a package (can't remember a name), so what happens if I am doing a clean install of Ubuntu with no internet access and have a .package file I want to use?  I won't be able to use it.
-The aMsn download page says the .package files are for users who already have Tcl/Tk, but gives no information, or link to information, that tells me what on earth Tcl/Tk is! I had absolutely no idea, and it's not mentioned in the how-to-install page. Bad. Scary.

-So I tried to install without doing anything about Tcl/Tk, and got an error saying "you need Tcl" (and instuctions on how to get it - good!). So I installed Tcl, but - now the .package file does absolutely nothing when I try to run it. Nothing at all.

So I give up on .package, I will download the .deb file, and stick to .deb files from now on.
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 05:56:39 am »

Smaller sure, but I don't want to have to change it's permissions to executable, that sucks

Anything that executes needs the executable permission, even if it's a binary file.

-It needed to install a package (can't remember a name), so what happens if I am doing a clean install of Ubuntu with no internet access and have a .package file I want to use? I won't be able to use it.

Well, this doesn't really apply with aMSN (Since it, by definition, requires an Internet connection), but is definitely a problem if other apps that use the .package format require packages. Then again, most installations these days require at least some dependencies to be installed.

But, yes, you have some very good points. Package management on Linux isn't too good, due to the large number of package formats. I personally always use .deb files, and if there's no DEB available, I make one myself (often via checkinstall).

Ubuntu 8.04, Tcl/Tk 8.5, aMSN SVN
My sites: [DanSoft Australia] [Daniel15's Forum and Blog and more...
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 08:24:52 am »

Welcome to the forums!

One point.. It looks like you double posted this thread.. I answered you in the other thread, but since Daniel15 is answering you here, I'll delete the other thread and paste my answer in this one! Please only post one as it is more than enough.
So here is what I previously answered :

1 - it is a script AND a binary file, the script only checks if you have the autopackage system installed and downloads it for you, and then it installs the binary file which is included inside the .package... Changing its permissions to executable is a no brainer, it HAS to be done, the 'executable' permission is specific to your own system, it doesn't matter if the file is binary or just text, it makes absolutely no difference.. it's your file browser that saved the file without any executable permission when you download the .package file.. This isn't Windows where .exe extensions make the file executable automatically, it's just the way it works in linux and you can't change that and noone can.
2 - well it's the same thing here, it makes no sense, because the package it installs is basically the 'autopackage' system, it's like saying "what happens if I want to install a .deb file but I don't have dpkg/apt/synaptic installed on my system", there's just no way around it, in order to handle the .package file, you need the associated program.. it should happen only once for your first install and you won't need it ever again.
3 - Good point! I'll mark that as a TODO and we'll hopefully fix this soon so it won't create any more confusion to new users!
4 - humm... well, I don't know about that, it's good that it gives instructions on how to get Tcl (I didn't know it did! Smiley) but afterwards, launching the .package file again should just work.. if it doesn't, you might want to ask for help (or report a bug) to the autopackage maintainers.. You have to understand that we use the autopackage system, but we don't develop/support it ourselves!

Anyways, just for some extra info, the reason we use the autopackage system is that before (a few years ago) we were kindly creating a package for every distribution, but it quickly grew out of hands.. we ended up delaying a release for months just because we had to wait for the maintainer of the XXXXXX distribution to be available and make the new package, etc... If I remember correctly, we were supporting over 18 distributions... debian, mandrake, mandriva, opensuse, fedora core, redhat, etc... and different versions for each of these distributions.. then we realized that we were doing something that wasn't our job, we were wasting way too much time and it was nearly impossible to be able to handle every distribution every linux user could have! So we decided to stop with that nonsense and provide our users with a single generic executable that they'd have to install, let the distrubutions maintainers take care of their own packaging (ubuntu maintainers will create the ubuntu .deb files, fedora maintainers will create the fedora .rpm files, etc...) and it worked out quite good so far!
We first went with the bitrock solution ( which worked wonderfully for a little time, but it was still very very immature at that time, then we discovered autopackage which seemed to be perfect for us! I know that autopackage isn't exactly the perfect solution, it does have some flaws, but for now, it's the best we can offer.. if you have anything better to suggest, feel free to do so!

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