FeatureSpecification: apt-third-party

Xavier Claessens xclaesse at gmail.com
Wed Apr 5 12:21:03 BST 2006

Le mardi 04 avril 2006 à 10:16 -0500, Jerry Haltom a écrit :
> Cool. Thanks for the reply. This is exactly the argument I wanted to
> zone in on.
> Let me first lay out some guiding opinion on Ubuntu and the FOSS world
> as I see it, because it will explain why I disagree with you. First and
> foremost, what is our goal? I suspect mine might be different from some
> people, or at least thought out differently. Mine is to see Ubuntu
> succeed on the desktop and bring the benefits of free software to
> people. That is, at offices, and at peoples homes. I don't think
> supporting non-Free software is morally bad. In fact, I think it's a
> great way to piggy back free software in on. I think VMware is a great
> program. I don't mind the gstreamer-mp3 thing, for those who want it. I
> think that giving somebody a free platform, and then allowing other
> people to write their own software for it, whether proprietary or closed
> is "morally right." It's our job to promote free software, not mandate
> it. Additionally, I think the more software we have, free other
> otherwise, the more people will use Ubuntu, and the more exposure they
> will have to free software, and the tools to write it. Perhaps they'll
> become developers and start duplicating the closed tools they're tired
> of using.
> Simple, the more people distributing useful software for Ubuntu, the
> better.
> Now on to your argument. You prefer to keep a centrally managed list of
> preferred packages controlled by Ubuntu. I assume then that you
> understand that for software to be properly distributed for Ubuntu it
> must undergo a vetting process by some representative of Ubuntu. It must
> be approved and then added to our list of approved software. Somebody
> must maintain this list and add updates to each program to it.
> I suspect this approach originates because there are a few well known
> pieces of software which people desire, but which is undistributed by
> Ubuntu as it stands. This recognized set of software is small and
> controllable.
> My proposal goes beyond that. I desire to create a more friendly
> software ecosystem, where by a third party doesn't have to "run the
> gauntlet" to have their software distributed by Ubuntu. I want to
> welcome new software, that us on this mailing list may not even be aware
> of, with open arms. I want to provide the tools to these innovators,
> whomever they may be, to have users easily install software onto their
> systems, with the proper warnings and security explanations, and all the
> safeguards possible: BEFORE THEY DO IT THEMSELVES!
> That last point is important. There are companies out there Right Now
> which are distributing software for Ubuntu which Ubuntu has no control
> over, which threaten Ubuntu users. VMware is one. They distribute their
> installer as a custom shell script. It compiles kernel modules and
> places them in /lib/modules. It runs processes as root and installs
> initscripts. And it doesn't use dpkg. A user of VMware has to use a
> separate tool-set to manage his VMware installation. He can't use
> familiar tools, like synaptic, to see it installed. He can't track
> updates for it from update-notifier. And we can't do anything about it.
> Repeat the same situation with Sun's Java and all the other commercial
> Linux programs nobody pays attention to. Each one has it's own install
> tool.
> Additionally, these vendors are not going to stop distributing their
> proprietary installers just because Ubuntu has a separate way to do it
> built in. A user is going to go to www.vmware.com to buy VMware. They're
> going to download what VMware offers and run it as VMware tells them to.
> They aren't going to check Ubuntu first to see if the software already
> exists in our approved list.
> I would much rather see us push and promote a proper method for these
> parties to install software on our system. Something which is easy for
> them to set up, and which is based on a community understanding.
> I want ISVs to say "We support Ubuntu. Click here to install our
> product."
> end.

I 100% agree. But we can do more ! By example all games (like doom3) are
distributed for linux in .run files. We can make it easier to install
doom3 from a .deb (or .apt) file but there is some remaining problems:
How to install data from CDs in a user-friendly way ? We should have
some windows-like installers that is able to give a GtkFileChooser to
the user to let him say where is the datas, etc... without loosing the
adventage of .deb files that is easily updated by update-manager ! Maybe
it can be achieved by improvements of debconf's GTK/GNOME frontend...

I really want an user-friendly and ubuntu-spirit way to install games
like doom3, quake4, unrealtournament2003/2004. Those games can't be
distributed legally by ubuntu but we should propose to id-software (and
others games vendors) a system to install their software on ubuntu.

does apt-third-party solves this problem ?

Xavier Claessens.
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