package managers [was: FatELF patches...]

From: Mikulas Patocka
Date: Wed Nov 04 2009 - 12:10:13 EST

> Package managers are a _fantastic_ invention. They are a killer feature
> over other operating systems, including ones people pay way too much money
> to use.

No, package managers are evil feature that suppresses third party software
and kills Linux success on desktop.

Package managers are super-easy to use --- but only as long as the package
exists. No developer can make a package for all versions of all
distributions. No distribution can make a package for all versions of all
Linux software. So, inevitably, there are holes in the
[distribution X software] matrix, where the package isn't available.

- With Windows installers (next - next - next - finish), even a
technically unskilled person can select which version of a given
software he wants to use. If the software doesn't work, he can simply
uninstall it and try another version.

- With Linux package managers, the user is stuck with the software and
version shipped by the distribution. If he wants to install anything
newer or older, it turns into black magic and the typical desktop user
(non-hacker) can't do it.

- For non-technical user who can't compile, getting newer software for
Linux means reinstalling the whole distribution to a newer version. So,
"upgrade one program" translates into "upgrade all programs" (that will
bring many changes that the user didn't want and new bugs)

Let me say that instead of making a single binary for multiple
architectures, you should concentrate on developing a method to make a
single binary that works on all installations on one architecture :)

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