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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Cutting edge
Zero Install_the antidote to app-stores
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Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 225
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr 2014, 12:51    Post_subject:  Zero Install_the antidote to app-stores
Sub_title: freedom from app-stores


Here is a link to Zero Install/features : http://0install.net/features.html

Reading Zero Install documentation, i came to the conclusion more people should be aware of it. Because Zero Install offers a new way to deal with installation of programs, meaning a user is not limited to just Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware, etc, repositories, and there is actually no installation.
Zero Install targets developers as well as ordinary users.
I first read of it in the french-speaking section of murga-linux, Tooppy 1.0, and, out of curiosity, tried to find more information about it.
I think more people need to be aware of Zero Install. It could prove to be THE way to install bleeding-edge apps, without affecting the whole system, if something goes wrong, or if repositories don't offer them. And since PPM is not the greatest of package manager (Pacman being the best, in my opinion), giving users a hard time downloading and installing some apps, with their dependencies, Zero Install is worth a try.
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Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2334

PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr 2014, 13:25    Post_subject:  

First of all, it is not new -it's been around for about 10 years. And using it means you need a full development environment installed since each app will be compiled on your system. And each app needs a meticulously-prepared recipe to build it.
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5045
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr 2014, 16:30    Post_subject:  

That is what keeps Linux from adopting this method of app setup and deployment ( sadly ).
If the apps were written differently, then AppDir ( Portable apps ) would be the standard.
Sadly again, Linux is not known for cooperation of it`s supporters. Meaning nothing changes...
And it`s why M$ has nothing to fear from Linux. If Linux ever became focused, by by M$.
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Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2334

PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr 2014, 03:52    Post_subject:  

Well, you know that zeroinstall is written by the same guy who invented (rox) AppDirs, right? And Appdirs are supposed to be build-from-source bundles -just like the sources for rox itself. The first time you click on it, there is no binary present, so the AppRun first compiles the program and installs it locally (in the same dir as the sources).

zeroinstall works similarly, except that the sources must be downloaded first instead of being part of the original archive. zeroinstall-ified apps are delivered as an AppDir which works similarly to the ones which contain sources, except the zeroinstall AppDir runs instructions to download the sources before compiling.

Most rox and zeroinstall AppDirs are very python-centric which I never liked. All my Appdirs use bash only to do their magic.

Of course, the idea behind both AppDirs and zeroinstall is the same -and is the same everywhere else. That 'idea' is that all applications on a system should be built from sources, *by and for* that very distribution with its unique mix of libs. There really is no getting around that in any *sustainable* way. The only other sure-fire alternative is to statically compile or otherwise include *all* required libraries in the program itself. It sounds good but leads to huge binaries with lots of lib duplication -and, most importantly, each and every program will fight you to the death to get it to compile statically. For ordinary shared-lib compiles, one maintainer could easily build several packages a day. When having to wrangle the sources to achieve stand-alone binaries, just one program can take weeks to achieve! Many sources must be deeply patched in order to get the desired result. It simply isn't maintainable.
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Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 9692

PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr 2014, 05:05    Post_subject:  

Hmm kernel modules.... build yer drivers on demand time.... I digress. This all is getting to sound like gentoo.

Seems like a job for SUPER CHOWN Wink or at least an sfs ...both ways to add and remove cleanly both of which are easily doable already.

Compile an alternative win32 system
...now there's a challenge... ReactOS here we come....

Just thought I would drop in

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