[Sugar-devel] Bundles with binary requirements (Was: The ARM is near)
Gary C Martin
gary at garycmartin.com
Sat Aug 29 19:51:22 EDT 2009
On 30 Aug 2009, at 00:17, Aleksey Lim wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 05:09:44PM -0400, Michael Stone wrote:
>> 0install looks quite promising to me and
>> is good reading about the general issues involved.
>> Has anyone here experimented with it?
> Yeah, I like 0install(or its concept) more and more.
> In our case it could solve several issues at once:
> * lack of sugar packages for non-mainstream distros, we could provide
> 0install sugar packages in "click to install" form for any user
> * arguable questions about what new dependencies we should add to
> Platform(e.g. java, Qt, webkit etc.), if activity uses these non
> Platform dependencies, just add add them to your activity as 0install
> dependencies(or so)
> * binary blobs in activities, all dependencies will be fetched by
> we have lightweight .xo bundles and external dependencies could be
> reused by several activities
> * dependencies between several activities could make sense in some
> e.g. TamTam's common resources(10M) could be fetched as dependency
> TamTam activities(now each activity has separate copy of common
> If there is no interested in people I'll try it after 0.86 release.
It is interesting, but fails horribly badly in the case of no, or low
bandwidth Internet. Just imagine the mess when some school on a low
bandwidth high cost satellite link downloads "Wibble Activity.xo" and
pops it on there local server, or perhaps kids themselves start to
share the bundle, or distribute it on a USB stick from one to another.
Think of all those extra nasty yes/no/are your sure dialogues, and
subsequent download failures and support calls, and the school or
districts bandwidth budget...
No insult or disrespect to the original developer, or those trying to
make it an activity, but the latest example http://code.google.com/p/sarynpaint/
is an extremely simple/basic bitmap paint program written in Java,
that would take less than a day for me (and I am certainly no expert)
to duplicate from scratch in Python. Imagine the huge amount of
bandwidth, and install failures if this just got uploaded in ignorance
of all the duplicate dependancy downloads this would impose on remote
Do you want a hand full of activity developers to bare the time effort
and cost of producing a quality, efficient, well thought through and
designed activity? Or put that cost on to 100,000+ children and their
country school systems? How many ebooks could you distribute (and
store) for the bandwidth (and nand space) taken up by downloading the
required dependancies for Java. And once such a download system is in
place, what will be the next unsupported language someone will try to
ship an activity in?
Apologies for the rant.
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