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3rd Party Software for RHL (was Re: mp3, Real, Flash, plugins..)
The ideas expressed in this thread were kind of my idea when making
these two projects.
I obtained permission from Macromedia to repackage their binary and test
packages on various Linux distributions. With simple documentation
(could be improved), apt-get and urpmi repositories (adding yum later)
and GPG signed security (could be improved...) it makes things easier
for users. No more users screwing up tarball unpacking or creating
symlinks, the package does it all for them.
Macromedia was the first of several proprietary companies that I want to
create this kind of arrangement. It makes things so much easier for the
community while giving us a centralized place for the community to
complain and force companies into fixing bugs <evil optimistic grin>.
Check out the Webalizer download statistics on the bottom of the Flash
site. The download numbers of various Linux distributions are
interesting. (Did you know that the majority of Linux users use
Konqueror? That was surprising to me.)
This project is my idea to rally the combined efforts of volunteer
developers to create a body of well maintained 3rd party RPM packages
specifically for Red Hat Linux. This idea is very much similar to the
Debian community, with Fedora stable, testing and unstable trees in our
current plans. Fedora Project is still in infant stages, but things are
beginning to roll now with our Bugzilla up and other infrastructure growing.
Fedora can be there to save us all time and effort. We Red Hat users,
both newbie and experienced, would no longer need to manually configure
and compile 3rd party packages, thus saving lots of time. Just imagine
the following LUG mailing list question from year 2004:
> I just installed Red Hat 8.3 on my Athlon 64 laptop. My sound isn't
> working, does this Red Hat have drivers for my sound? How can I
> install the browser plugins and where are good games?
Today we would go through a complicated process of explaining kernel
compilation, unpacking tarballs, configuring sources, installing
dependencies, symlinking, compiling... YUCK! This is just way too hard,
takes up far too much time for the experienced people and scares away
most new users. The answer for all this should simply be:
> Your motherboard sound drivers are in "amd_cx994-kernel". Install
> all browser plugins with "bundle_browserplugins" and look at the Games
> category in Fedora. You may like "The UrQuan Masters".
So much quicker and easier. Save time for the gurus. Make everything
easier, attract more users to Linux!
It is my hope that Fedora packages will also be a testbed for packages
that may eventually be included in Rawhide. Fedora packages could give
new software a chance to "prove itself" in a Red Hat-like environment
and perhaps reduce development costs for Red Hat should they choose to
accept Fedora packages into their stable base in the future.
In every way possible I hope to keep Fedora packages strictly as add-ons
for Red Hat Linux. In no circumstances should Fedora packages cause
errata or dist upgrade problems for the base distribution. If any such
upgrade problems are caused by Fedora, they should be filed in Fedora
Bugzilla and dealt with quickly.
All of this sounds great in theory, but Fedora currently has none of
this. Much work is to be done, and we are in need of many more
developers. If you are a developer interested in this goal, please
check out our fedora-devel mailing list, open tasks in Fedora Bugzilla,
and chat with us in #fedora on irc.freenode.net IRC network.
(We are not ready for users yet. Use Matthias Saou's FreshRPMS until
Fedora becomes more mature. fedora-users mailing list will open when
Fedora is ready.)
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