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Why Linux Appears Fragmented:

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  • #21
    Obviously though there's the issues with non-source releases that we immediately end up with binary-compatibility mess. Of course, not distributing the source code is bloody insane anyway since if you distribute the sources, you outsource the binary compatibility mess to distros instead of having to do it yourself. (so less work for upstream)
    So yeah, source code tarballs all the way.

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    • #22
      Ubuntu is far from a fad.

      If you were going to choose one distro to target directly in addition to a distro agnostic method then Ubuntu would be the best choice.

      While there are valid reasons to use a distro that isn't Ubuntu, it has the biggest market share as far as Linux users go and so far there doesn't seem to be any indication of this changing.

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      • #23
        I'm not sure if popularity is the best measure of whether something is a fad or not. One of the characteristics of a fad is that it is very popular.

        Ubuntu has been around for a relatively long time, but I'd say that the jury is still out there. Taking Debian and repackaging it into a "Desktop" distro is certainly not original -- see Corel Linux, Lindows, and a million others.

        Personally, I don't mind Ubuntu, but this sort of distro-fascism (as illustrated in this thread) tends to be rather annoying, and I hope that it's not a sign of things to come -- Ubuntu contributes far less back to the community than most distros, and it would be a travesty to punish other distributions for it.

        If I had to make a bet, I'd expect Debian, RedHat, Gentoo, Slack and SuSE to be around long after Ubuntu.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by ethana2 View Post
          You should switch to Ubuntu, use Alien to convert the .deb files provided by vendors, or, like I've been doing with Windows software, boycott.

          I think they'd lose less money from your boycotting them than they would testing on Suse, because half an hour later you'd be like 'screw it, I'll dual boot'.

          And if you use Fedora, you're unlikely to purchase proprietary software anyways. Either way, you're 1/20 of the linux deskop market.

          You're being obnoxious. Let me just quote what Mark Shuttleworth had to say about this.

          it grates a little when people say "ubuntu is linux", because of course the linux ecosystem is much bigger than just ubuntu and everybody should try more of 'em: fedora, gentoo, arch, go wild there's something for everyone
          He's a smart man. The last thing Ubuntu could use is more friction between Ubuntu and the rest of the Linux community.

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          • #25
            It would be nice if ISVs decided to boycott either rpm or dpkg. It's not that they should only support Ubuntu+Debian or Fedora+Suse. They just have to force a standard. Those four distros are not going to fix it by themselves. I'd say, just start using the most popular format, which at the moment is dpkg.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Remco View Post
              It would be nice if ISVs decided to boycott either rpm or dpkg. It's not that they should only support Ubuntu+Debian or Fedora+Suse. They just have to force a standard. Those four distros are not going to fix it by themselves. I'd say, just start using the most popular format, which at the moment is dpkg.
              Actually iirc Linux Standard Base agreed on using RPM as the de facto package type, this just made Debianists scream so loudly that DEB was added too although RPM is still primary package type. Then again, LSB seems to have died off too.

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              • #27
                I'm all in favour of standardizing a single package format. I've used .deb and .rpm and I can't see any meaningful differences between them, apart from having to use different tools with each one. I did read a lot of .deb fans saying that .rpm was awful and it didn't work properly, but I never had any problems.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by devius View Post
                  I did read a lot of .deb fans saying that .rpm was awful and it didn't work properly, but I never had any problems.
                  A few years ago, this was definitely the case. And a lot of sane people (me included) went to debian based systems. But now rpm/yum have vastly improved to being at least as good (and i actually now prefer it). But it's not easy to shake a bad name (and there's a lot of people that seem to repeat problems that haven't been experienced in many years)

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                  • #29
                    You know, I use and love Ubuntu, but I don't give a rats ass about deb in particular. I've use RPM based distros as well, and they work equally as good.

                    I DO agree that we should finally settle on a package format. Deb and RPM are the two obvious choices, but which? Is it utterly impossible for a package manager to support both? I never looked into it, but people always hype on how similar they are. Why not?

                    As far as I see it, things should be available in two ways. A package: deb/rpm/etc, and in source form. Of course, this requires the whole community to agree on one package system for it to work out, so as not to exclude anyone. Packages are a much better way than dealing with separate tar files containing binaries. If you want more controll over where the files go and whatnot, thats when I compile from source anyway.


                    Just some random thoughts.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by benmoran View Post
                      I DO agree that we should finally settle on a package format. Deb and RPM are the two obvious choices, but which?
                      Better not walk down any dark street if Gentoo users live nearby with that kind of opionions. :3

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