Re: Simplifying package installation.

	Problem 1: .tar.gz-distributed applications do not register
themselves in any applications database.  Hence, they have problems that
make them difficult to install and administer: they cannot verify
dependencies, cannot confirm the "correct" directory structure expected by
Gnome, cannot run post-install scripts or post un-install scripts, and
cannot check to see if a previous (or more up-to-date) version of the app
is installed.

	Problem 2: Existing package systems are not system-independent.
Not everyone has RPM, DEB, or SLP installed.  (However, it should be noted
that converters are available for these systems--i.e., alien)

	Problem 3: Even RPMs and DEBs require root access to the
applications database to install new packages.

	Should there be anything else added to that list?  Let's try to
quantitatively define our problem, other than just "apps are difficult to
install for endusers".  What are our goals?

	Some points to consider in the upcoming discussion: SLPs (am I
getting that acronym right?) are just .tar.gz files with extra data files
in them.  That means they can just be ungzipped for non-SLP systems.

	Finally, what examples do we have to look at?  I am unfamiliar
with NeXt's method.  But MS Windows 9x, with its "InstallShield", works
pretty well but basically assumes root access to the system.  The
Macintosh is the same way.  How does MS Windows NT handle new package
installation for non-Administrator users?

	How do the expensive CDE/Motif workstations handle this problem?
How does Irix handle this problem?  If I want to install Alias Wavefront
(or whatever) on an SGI, do I need root access?

	Finally, are there any BeOS users out there?  Is that a multiuser

Derek Simkowiak

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