source distribution

Jecel Assumpcao Jr
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 10:31:24 -0200

Source code distribution has given me its share of headaches. It seems
that my libraries and directories never match those on the developer's
machine. So it is nearly always a matter of adding symbolic links here
and there and patching makefiles - surely something beyong the skills
and interests of the average user.

On the other hand, I have also had problems with bothe RPM and Debian
packages (even those straight from Debians installation disks!). Debian
packages are binary, which saves me the trouble of having header files
and static libraries right. But the package dependencies are sometimes
broken (I have the packages it wants, but the name isn't exactly the
same) and dynamic libraries are the bane of binary distribution
(Netscape 3.0 can't run Java with the libc that comes with Linux 2.0,
for example. The complications of working around this aren't worth it
for me).

Speaking of Java, I've run across simple examples that wouldn't work. We
tried putting the .class files the main program needed in all
directories imaginable (running from the local disk) but so far it
refuses to find them.

In short - any distribution system that depends on people getting things
right will only work some of the time.

-- Jecel