Jonas Sundström jonas at kirilla.com
Wed Apr 27 08:56:38 PDT 2005

"Thomas E. Spanjaard" <tgen at xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Yaroslav Tarasenko wrote:
> > I remember how it was simple installing software
> > (and upgrading to new versions) on BeOS: you 
> > should just unzip archive file and put its contents
> > somewhere on HD. Is it a dream in bsd world?
> Nope. You can get sources from $project and compile
> them yourself, using the usual ./configure, make and 
> make install process. 

I don't think what you're describing is a dream.
At least on non-Unix systems it's usually not. :]

In unix-land "friendly" usually means providing a 
frontend, hiding the actual mechanism and affording 
casual users the luxury of ignorance. Point and click.
Keeping the user in the dark.

Other systems seem to have opted to make the system
itself friendly enough for more direct manipulation, (real 
or imagined), like the famous old MacOS System folder.

BeOS shares the old MacOS (and the Amiga, IIRC)
quality in that it's dead easy to "get" the system.

You're allowed to move files, (it's your system),
and daemons have intelligible names.

Anyway, there's really no magic to BeOS's solution.
Apps are usually distributed as zipped up app folders,
with the needed libraries in a subfolder named 'lib'.

$ env | grep %A


%A/lib is the lib subfolder in the app folder.

I'm sure there are similar tricks on other platforms.

(BTW, BeOS is single-user, so ~ = /boot/home)

This way developers can put all the necessary libraries 
within the app folder, (usually distributed as a zipfile).
The app works regardless of where you put the folder.
The user is free to leave the libraries in, or move them 
to ~/config/lib, removing duplicates as s/he sees fit.

I suppose the MacOS X way of opaque app folders is
even better, at the expense of disk storage, but I suppose
that's outside of the scope of the current BSDs, since X 
is considered extra, and the CLI is seen as the "real" interface.

/Jonas Sundström.                      www.kirilla.com

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