Binary incompatibility of Linux distributions

Derek Broughton derek at
Tue May 19 13:45:16 BST 2009

Liam Proven wrote:

> 2009/5/15 anthony baldwin <photodharma at>:
>> One thing I can't figure out is why the home page for each app isn't
>> always listed in the synaptic descriptions, so one could just click on
>> it and see the apps home page to learn more about the app.
>> That would, IMHO, be a really good idea.
>> For some apps a home page is listed, but not a link, and for the vast
>> majority of apps, no home page is listed.
>> I find myself googling stuff...
> Lots of apps don't /have/ a homepage. A basic Linux distro consists of
> tens of thousands of binaries. Not every one has its own distinct web
> presence. Is there much point in a homepage for the ls command? It's a
> program in its own right.

A rather poor example, since it's not a _package_ in its own right (it's 
part of GNU "coreutils", which surely _does_ have a home page).
> Secondly, home pages can change and come and go.

Sure, but is rather less likely than 
most to disappear :-)

> Software authors
> might not want them linked to their home internet account, for various
> reasons, not least of which is spam-prevention. If they don't have or
> don't want to use free web space, they might not be in a position to
> pay for a site to be hosted elsewhere.

Everybody has _access_ to free web space, and really it's not unreasonable 
(perhaps not really workable, but not _unreasonable_) to require a home page 
for any package that gets included in the Ubuntu repos.  Requiring it to 
contain anything useful (e.g., many sourceforge "home" pages) would be 

Still, Tony's complaint would seem to be that he has to google to actually 
find the web page (for instance, as I did for ls/coreutils) when a home page 
actually does exist.

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