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Open Source Software Windows Linux

0install Reaches 2.0 61

tal197 writes "Zero Install, the decentralized cross-platform software installation system, announced 0install 2.0 today after 2 years in development. 0install allows authors to publish directly from their own web-sites, while supporting familiar features such as shared libraries, automatic updates, dependency handling and digital signatures. With more than one thousand packages now available, is this finally a viable platform?"
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0install Reaches 2.0

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  • Re:What a name (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @01:50PM (#43080781) Homepage

    I understand the benefits of shared libraries, but storage space is dirt-cheap today and I think a lot of problems might be solved simply by letting lots of pieces of software bundle their favorite versions of dependent libraries.

    Or, how about this: Instead of linking to shared libraries by their filenames, applications specify the shared libraries they'd like to link to via md5 hashes of the libraries' contents. The linker checks its shared-library database-index (which could just be a directory whose directory-entries are md5 hash codes) to see if it has a shared library with that md5 hash installed; if yes, it links the application process to it; if no, it auto-downloads the shared library with that hash from the web repository, installs it, and then links the application process to it.

    The advantages would be:

    No library collisions, ever (well, to the extent that md5 hashes are unique, anyway).
    No version mismatches, ever (each app will always run using the libraries it was built against, and no others).
    No mucking about with LD_LIBRARY_PATH (as all shared libraries are auto-stored for you
    No manually installed missing libraries (they will instead be installed as necesary, on demand)
    No space wasted by multiple copies of the same library present on your disk at once

    Some possible disadvantages:

    No way to "patch" behavior of multiple applications by upgrading only a shared library they link to (you'd have to upgrade each of the applications instead, so that they reference the new library version's md5 hash)

    Possible security issues from auto-installing shared libraries with malicious code (although arguably you either trust a developer enough to install his program, or you don't; the mechanics of how different parts of the program are installed aren't necessarily relevant)

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington