[Bf-committers] Fwd: Linux Installer for Blender

Daniel Lopez bf-committers@blender.org
Wed, 28 Apr 2004 06:39:45 -0700

(writing from my rawbyte.com address instead of bitrock.com as this is the
one I am subscribed from)

> Hi,
> it's nice, but that's all. It breaks philosophy of distribution of linux 
> apps. I would rather offer rpm or deb package.
> If it would use rpm or deb packages, then it would be cool (just 
> frontend), but it only copies files to disk, it doesn't solve any 
> dependecies ...

Hi :)

I understand your concerns, our take on that :

rpm and deb are nice for packages already distributed with the operating
system such as base libraries, daemons, etc. since they have the right
dependencies. They are complicated for third-party user-oriented apps such
as blender that need to run in as many Linux versions as possible. The way
RPM packaging works, and due to distributions differences in libraries, naming
conventions, etc. forces you either to create a single RPM that does
not include any dependencies (thus defeating the main purpose of RPM) or
having to distribute one RPM per each distribution (and often, per each
release of that distribution) you want to support.

Most people that run into that either decide to only support a few Linux
versions with their RPM releases and/or distribute a binary tarball that the
users have to unpack, read the instructions and install manually (which is
what Blender does, though the install process is far more easy than the
average Linux program)

So what we offer is a easy to use installer that replaces those manual
steps and allows you to place an icon on the user desktop, display license,
etc. Basically improve the end-user experience. We can also incldue any
other task you require (dependency checking, initialization, etc.)

Having said all that, however, we have a (not yet released) RPM backend to
our installer generation tool, so we can also output RPMs (with the caveats
mentioned above, either you get rid of dependencies or need to have an RPM
package for each architecture). Debian package output is planned but further
away (no client has asked us for it so far)

What I would suggest is just place the installer alongside the current Linux
binary tarballs and see the what the users feedback is, you will be
surprised how much people appreciate this kind of things to make their life
a bit easier, specially those coming from a Windows background (and anyways,
most developers are going to install from source :) 

Also, as I mentioned we are coming out with Windows, Solaris, etc.
installers, so you could create all the installations from the same tool

> For objective decisions: I made one blender linux installer for testing:
> http://e-learning.vslib.cz/hnidek/installer/blender-2.33-installer.bin
> It could have some bugs (my first package :-) ).

Very nice!  One suggestion, the desktop icon has a hardcoded path to 

what you could do is include that icon with the distribution and then put as
image path:

The instaldir variable will be subst during installation

Thanks for all the feedback!

Best regards