[Bf-committers] Fwd: Linux Installer for Blender

Daniel Lopez bf-committers@blender.org
Wed, 28 Apr 2004 12:04:57 -0700

Hi Gregor,

The installer does not get affected by the GPL. There are plenty of GPL
software out there being distributed using installshield or installanywhere
or many other commercial installers. Ours just happens to work on Linux and
be pretty :)

> Unless they allow you to distribute the installer builder itself with the 
> blender sources you might be in violation of the GPL as outsiders are then 
> unable to rebuild blender in the form they obtained it. In the worst case the 
> company which builds the installer might find itself forced to release that 
> installer under the GPL because they allowed you to use that software for a 
> GPL project and thus might be considered a part of that. I'm not 100% sure, 
> though. Better talk to the FSF about it before taking any further actions.
> Otherwise I'd say it's wise to settle with rpm, deb and tarball packages. When 
> the rpm and deb packages are done correctly it'll be much easier for the 
> users to handle that than a custom installer. AFAIK you can specify indivdual 
> libs as deps for an rpm file and thus build distribution-agnostic rpms that 
> work because rpm doesn't check it's database but the file system to determine 
> if these libs actually exist.

Not so easy, trust me on this, we have the scars to prove it :)  The problem
is when the libraries have different versions or different names or the
places to install the configuration files are different among distributions.
I have not looked in-depth on Blender, so I do not know how much this
applies, but I have found it to be true for any medium complexity program.

In any case, I am not arguing for replacing RPM or DEB or even the tarballs.
Just offer all of them for download and listen for the user feedback on how
to improve each. You do not even have to learn to use our tool, we will
happy to build the installers and handle the user feedback.

> With regard to custom installers (e.g. OO.o and Mozilla) I have to say that 
> distribution makers actually are working hard to circumvent them. Mozilla is 
> actually very easy to handle because it knows a "make install" target. And 
> OO.o comes with lots of (quite) extra scripts in many distros which do the 
> installer's work on their own when OO.o is started for the first time by this 
> user (I've seen gentoo and SuSE do that). So installers on linux look more 
> like a PITA to me. No matter which route you actually choose, keep a backdoor 
> open.

Agree the installer should not and does not, preclude any other installation
method. We want to offer more choice, not restrict it :)

Best regards