Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on February 16, 2007 09:39 PM
Well let me drop my $0.02 into this mess.
> Zero Install is one of the more promising alternatives<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...is _not_.
> it faces the problems of winning acceptance Indeed.
> users were reluctant to try ROX unless it was packaged for their distro Sure! It's not exactly trivial.
> maintainers could be hard to find Now, when you are high quality upstream which is a piece of cake to package and work with, we're not *that* hard to find.
When you're promising at first but then frustrating upstream, you sure have the best way to distract from developing the project by developing the scaffolding for lazy users to install it!
I've recently commented on ROX-Filer here, and on LWN, arguing that while it has a bunch of nice features, overall it's not something you want to give your parents or your customers: it's quirky and will make losing your files "on the desktop" as easy as removing symlink target is, too.
So, maybe it would be better to *first* care about critical usability bugs in the project itself, then popularize it via articles and reviews -- there is considerable demand for lightweight desktop, I tell that as one who does this for living! -- and then talk to people inside Debian/Ubuntu and Fedora/openSUSE (maybe FreshRPMS , OpenPKG or Dag would do that -- if these were archived, we could share a bunch of RPM specs for ROX, drop me a note if anyone interested).
Don't even bother to care for slackwarists and the rest of those who would groan how hideous those dependencies and packages are, just not worth the trouble: they'll find another point to exercise their usual gross incompetence with. (heck, even Guido is an enemy of software deployment with his stance of recommending to install python and modules "just in your $HOME"!)
Short outro: I'm maintaining some hundred and a half packages in ALT Linux, and we've used ROX-Filer in one of desktop Linux deployment projects (alas, XCFE's then-current XFFM was even more of a disaster; Thunar seems much better though). And yes, I'm fed up with this awful lot of not-so-polished wheels just because somebody tried to roll one lying on its side!
PS: I'm talking rough not to offend but rather to give some imagination of the pain involved in attempts to actually use software which wasn't created with deployment in mind. That includes e.g. Python and homegrown stuff like 0install<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:-(