Posted by: Anonymous
on December 23, 2008 08:23 AM
Autopackage enables you to choose where to install, but searches to see if you have each dependency and install only if not already there. Also, it doesn't use any non-LSB compliant directories (like /nix) or cryptographic anything weird like that. It's also been around a while. I think it's the best solution so far.. It has very easy to use tools for both packaging and installing (GUI or text).
The problems that remain with it are that there is no way to know what make-options were used in compiling dependencies and thus, re-using existing dependencies will sometimes break software. If I weren't already so busy with projects, do to things to improve Autopackage:
(1) with each library dependency, add a like-named file containing its make options with the extension to identify it, as such.. (e.g. liboss.so together with liboss.mk (text file containing make options and compiler version))
The underlying distribution doesn't do this, but every additional dependency could and should.
(2) build a client-server packager where the client determines what additional dependencies need to be downloaded then tells the server so it can download only what the individual system actually needs.
While autopackage can package up every possible dependency for you, it'll make for an unnecessarilly large download. So, unless the package has few or no dependencies or is shipped on CD, this kind of enhancement could do away with the last complaint I can think of (after enhancement #1).