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Re: [tdf-discuss] Re: A better idea for a download package.


----- Original Message ----

From: Mark Preston <mark@mpreston.demon.co.uk>
To: discuss@documentfoundation.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 
of it.
 
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 
description.)
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 
method.
Yes, Windows has the Microsoft Windows Installer System (MSI files), but it's 
still never had a standard installation method.

Ben


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