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tal197 (144614) writes "Zero Install, the decentralized cross-platform software installation system, announced 0install 2.0 today after 2 years in development. 0install allows authors to publish directly from their own web-sites, while supporting familiar features such as shared libraries, automatic updates, dependency handling and digital signatures. With more than one thousand packages now available, is this finally a viable platform?" top
tal197 writes "Zero Install, the decentralised cross-distribution software installation system, announced 0install 1.0 today, after 8 years in development. 0install allows authors to publish directly from their own web-sites, while supporting familiar features such as shared libraries, automatic updates and digital signatures. The end of the walled-gardens of traditional app-stores and Linux distributions and the beginning of a true "Web of Software"?" Link to Original Source
tal197 writes | more than 9 years ago
Might as well use this journal for rants, I suppose...
I've finally managed get myself set up with ADSL on Linux. I went with Demon, as they've got a decent reputation, and their web page states:
"Host software support for:
Windows 98, 98SE, 2000, ME and XP
Mac OS 8.6,9 and X
Great! However, after the package arrived, I couldn't help noticing a few obvious differences
between the "host software support" for Windows vs Linux:
The CD contains Windows drivers for the USB modem. There are no Linux
drivers (and you have to mount it with rock-ridge extensions disabled to
see anything at all, which wasn't obvious).
There are detailed step-by-step instructions showing how to set it up
on Windows. Linux isn't mentioned on the printed copy, and the CD version
contains a single line, telling you to download drivers from the 'net (How? I don't have drivers for my modem!! Didn't anyone spot this little problem when they wrote the instructions?)
When I phoned up for support and said I was installing on Linux, the response was "Ha! Good luck!". Not what you want to hear. I pointed out that Linux
is one of their supported systems but apparently "We don't have any training
The problem was that the CHAP authentication was failing (I'd
downloaded some drivers from sourceforge via my mobile phone's irDA port -
painfully slow, but it worked). The helpdesk chap was friendly, but didn't seem
able to suggest anything.
I got fed up and bought myself an ADSL modem router. Exactly the same problem.
But this time when I phoned up and said I had a router, they suddenly had a
whole load of useful test addresses to try which quickly narrowed the problem
down to BT's exchange. Grr. BT fixed it after a couple of days, and it's all
been fine since, but I think describing Linux as supported is really
The GnuCash installation instructions warn non-programmers against even trying
to install it. The word "nightmare" is used. Yet, the process should be quite
simple: if the project was distributed using Zero Install then users could
safely fetch and run it, with all its required dependencies, using a single
Zero Install is a fundamentally different way to access software. Instead
of copying software from the web onto our computers, we cache it.
It's a faster, easier to understand, and safer way to get software, suitable
for both broadband and dial-up users.
Oddly, though, most people seem to ignore it. Why?
Please add comments... I'd like to know how to present it better! A typical conversation goes like this:
Them: How do I install <foo>?
Me: Are you using Zero Install?
Them: No. What's that?
Me: It removes the need to install software. It uses a cache to allow running software directly from the author's machines.
Them: Sounds like a bad idea...
Them: Err... insecure?
Me: Nothing runs as root, or as any privileged user. So you're running the same code as normal, but without the additional worries of an installation script.
Me: Since data is only downloaded when it's needed, there's less to download in total so it's actually faster. Once cached, it's at least as fast as normally-installed software; sometimes faster since there are no search paths.
Them: Oh. Still sounds like a bad idea.
Them: Don't know...
After trying it for a few minutes, they're usually converted though. But what gives the bad initial impression?