----- Original Message ----
From: Mark Preston <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Fri, December 3, 2010 12:18:16 PM
Subject: Re: [tdf-discuss] Re: A better idea for a download package.
I see several issues in the discussion about installers - and I only
just joined the list! Let's list 'em...
1. You are assuming everyone will be running Linux. They won't.
2. You assume they all have a packaged Linux distro. They won't.
Only the latest discussion has focused around Linux. It hasn't been the only OS
discussed or assumed.
3. You presume they can all grab tar's themselves. They can't.
4. You assume they will all download the package. They won't.
That should always be an option, regardless of whether people avail themselves
Installers are needed because (1) you can adapt an installer to manage
installation on all the systems people *will* be using, such as
Windows XP, Vista, Win7 and - for some - either 32-bit or 64-bit
versions; Linux using Debian-based or other installers and (2) those
who have no standard installer system included; Android users and even
Apple users (3) who want something that installs like an app does;
even, despite the undoubted acrimony, Solaris users.
Finally (4), there will be those users who buy a preconfigured or even
standard virtualised system from a supplier and want both the supplier
provided system and the discs to fix any problems - and for that you
want a packaged product with installer and repair system to put on disc.
While an installer may not be the top priority, it is undoubtedly a
very important feature that needs to be present to reach the widest
number of users.
An Installer only helps on Windows.
Solaris has a packaging system; nearly all Unixes have a packaging system.
Linux Distros have their own packaging systems.
Fortunately, TDF/LO can focus on providing 3 Linux packages: debian, rpm,
slackware, source tarball
Nearly every Linux distro will provide its own package according to its own
packaging system; but those above will meet everyone else.
Most non-Developer Linux Users only install what is in or is compatible with the
packaging system their distro uses.
Mac also has a packaging system which is pretty much a zip file with all the
relevant files contained therein. (Not really, that's just a good simplified
All Mac targeted software is installed that way - the exception likely being the
OS and its relations (e.g. drivers). That is simply the Mac-way and Mac users
will expect that.
iOS and Android are not being targetted (from what I can tell) and LO/OOo would
be far too big for them right now any how. They also each have a standard
method of installation - the AppStore and Android MarketPlace. So again, no
separate installer is necessary there.
So, really the _only_ platform an installer is really necessary on is Windows,
which is the _only_ platform without a standard packaging system or installation
Yes, Windows has the Microsoft Windows Installer System (MSI files), but it's
still never had a standard installation method.
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