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

On Sun, Nov 28, 2010 at 02:39:23PM +0100, Makarius wrote:
> That is a lot of complication introduced by the packaging.

I don't follow you.

> So what is the point of it?

* It's a lot easier to "apt-get install isabelle" than it is to find
  where to download it, download it, work out how to install it (even if
  that does turn out to be "just untar it"), add it to my path, etc

* I can be sure that packaged software is actually going to work on my
  machine, e.g. it won't fail because my glibc is far too old or far too
  new. Similarly, I won't have to spend time working out what
  dependencies I need to install.

You may say that the first of these represents a small amount of effort
in the grand scheme of things, and that if you put in the little effort
then you find that the second isn't a problem - and you would be right
on both counts - but I spent a year using coq before I even downloaded
Isabelle because of this.

Some other factors:

* If something is in Debian then I can be pretty sure it really is Open
  Source software

* Packaged software is more likely to "fit in" with the rest of the
  system, e.g. docs where I expect them

* Packaged software is more likely to be "well-behaved"

* Packaged software often does things better than upstream - most
  commonly where two pieces of software can integrate

> Isabelle does not need "installation"

Yes it does. "wget ...; tar -jxf ..." is installation just as much as
"apt-get install ..." is.


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