Re: [isabelle] Packaging for distros? (Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora?)

On Wed, 24 Nov 2010, Edward Z. Yang wrote:

I was hoping to install Isabelle on my machine but winced when I saw the following instructions:

   tar -C /usr/local -xzf Isabelle2009-2_bundle_x86-linux.tar.gz

The /usr/local is indeed a bit old-fashioned here, but the instructions also say that this is just an example. There is in fact no "installation" of Isabelle. You just put it anywhere an run it. This trend will continue further in the coming years, as more and more ad-on components are required. It will also become increasingly difficult for third parties to do correct packaging.

And I was wondering if Isabelle had been packaged up for any of the major distros with the collaboration of the Isabelle authors (since "Pre-packaged versions of Isabelle, Poly/ML, and Proof General floating through the Net as deb, rpm, port etc. are often outdated and rarely work as advertised.") Packaged software confers a number of notable benefits (uninstallability, ease of installation, upgrade facilities).

Packaging was one of my hobbies many years ago. Around 2000 I made an rpm of Isabelle for SuSE (probably also for Redhat). This did not solve any problems, so the game was discontinued.

If you look at Mac OS X, the self-contained .app bundling works much better than package management, even though you need a bit more disk space. The recent trend of "portable" applications for Windows (for USB sticks etc.) go in the same direction.

No "installation" means no problems of "uninstallation".


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