Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Quick Search: in
An App-Store extension to Portage [Just a thought]
View unanswered posts
View posts from last 24 hours

Goto page 1, 2  Next  
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Gentoo Chat
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject: An App-Store extension to Portage [Just a thought] Reply with quote

Hi.

I have made brief search of the gentoo forums and haven't found anything on this topic or similar, so I thought I'd put it forward as food for thought. I am going to try to be vague because I don't want to suggest or imply implementation that may in itself be controversial.

The suggestions is this: Extend Portage to deliver commercial software that can be bought through emerge. Backing this up with a web interface for account management and online purchasing. I imagine that this would produce an 'eco system' similar to that used on mobile phones.


Thanks for your patience.


--
Kind regards

Stephen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
chiefbag
Guru
Guru


Joined: 01 Oct 2010
Posts: 440
Location: The Kingdom of Kerry

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like a ridiculous idea to me.

The last thing I want is a bloated system just to serve the purposes of some one else making money.

Note there are already e-builds for commercial products for example VMWare, all you need do is download the binary from their site and pay for the license.
_________________
A place for useful technical information
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
John R. Graham
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Posts: 7841
Location: Somewhere over Atlanta, Georgia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Portage & Programming to Gentoo Chat. Portage & Programming is a support forum so the topic fits better here.

- John
_________________
This space intentionally left blank.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeddySeagoon
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 32112
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum,

Portage is already extensible - emerge layman or put random ebuilds into your own overlay.
Anyone can distribute individual ebuilds or whole overlays of anything they like

There are several GUIs for this assemblage of ebuilds too. emerge porthole to get one.

There is nothing to gain by adding any of this functionality to portage itself. For commercial software, you still have to go through the purchase on the vendors website. With commercial software there is an added complication, who supports it when the install messes up ?

If vendors of commercial software want to support Gentoo, they can contribute individual ebuilds or even whole overlays for their products, then when installs fail, responsibility clearly rests with the people who took your money.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi.


Quote:
The last thing I want is a bloated system just to serve the purposes of some one else making money.

Isn't that the point of Gentoo we set USE flags and get the functionality that we want, a configurable system that offers us the choice. As for making money, that will attract developers and users alike. Although I don't want to suggest implementation, I think Portage already has most the tools needed to achieve a system like this. It offers package management with dependencies, updates, software licence agreements and others. The big change would be a web based store and account management.


Quote:
Note there are already e-builds for commercial products for example VMWare, all you need do is download the binary from their site and pay for the license.

This strikes me as slightly less easy than buying a commercial product and using it's native installer. A prime example of a Linux app store is the Android App store. I think this would be a new string for the Gentoo bow.

Quote:
Portage is already extensible - emerge layman or put random ebuilds into your own overlay.
Anyone can distribute individual ebuilds or whole overlays of anything they like

Portage is extensible but using layman to offer even a popular commercial application I would suggest is overly complicated, not that it isn't feasible.

Quote:
There is nothing to gain by adding any of this functionality to portage itself. For commercial software, you still have to go through the purchase on the vendors website. With commercial software there is an added complication, who supports it when the install messes up ?

If vendors of commercial software want to support Gentoo, they can contribute individual ebuilds or even whole overlays for their products, then when installs fail, responsibility clearly rests with the people who took your money.

By using Portage you're offering single point of access. If you've got to visit every vendor's site then it will be very difficult to find what you're looking for and again each one will have it's own installation method. This is like suggesting you have a green grocers, butchers, groceries store and clothing store on the high street, side street and back street as opposed to going to a supermarket. As for who supports the installation that would remain with the software developer as can be stated as part of a policy agreement.

Perhaps I should break this down into two parts.

1: I'm suggesting an app store like you get for mobile phones except for Gentoo.

2: I think Portage as it is already the point of access for most application installation on a Gentoo system should be able to be linked to the app store to work as a single point of access.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeddySeagoon
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 32112
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum,

Duco Ergo Sum wrote:
... buying a commercial product and using it's native installer.


Err ... the whole point of using portage is to avoid using a packages native installer. Consider the nvidia-drivers or the ATI equivelent. They are probably the two most widely used commercial packages on Gentoo today. They are commercial as they are binary blobs, provided with their own installers, even though they are free as in beer. (No monatary cost).

Portage does not use the provided installers - that part is key. Portage staying in control (via the ebuilds) of what is installed where. If you use the commercially provided installers, you get binaries sprayed all over your system that portage cannot remove. Further, if the nvidia-driver works at all, you cannot get 3D hardware acceleration as you have no way of selecting the nvidia OpenGL.

The whole point of using a Gentoo package manager, it need not be portage, is to be in control of what is installed where. Even for commercial packages.

Vmware-server is another good example. The ebuild installs it into /opt, together with all of the obsolete libraries it provides, which it alone needs. You really don't want those libraries installed system wide ... you might have to reinstall Gentoo to recover from the mess. Again, the package manager would know nothing about it.

From those two examples - who is responsible for broken installs ?
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon,

Quote:
From those two examples - who is responsible for broken installs ?

In both those examples, it would be portage which is responsible. I would suggest that portage is taking a third party package then performing a process on that package to install it in a particular location and manner.

If however you create an app store style environment and take advantage of portage package management, you can do either as you suggested and install an application in a {PREFIX} location or allow portage to do what it does and install an app in an effective and importantly manageable fashion. What I'm trying to suggest is to take advantage of portage, not ignore it in the hope of a quick buck.

As I see it, if a developer were to produce an app for such an app store then that app would need to be packaged and implemented to a standard that would meet the requirements of Portage. If you compile something for an opt-ware platform then it's your responsibility that you don't trample the root fs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
disi
Veteran
Veteran


Joined: 28 Nov 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: Out There ...

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum wrote:
NeddySeagoon,

Quote:
From those two examples - who is responsible for broken installs ?

In both those examples, it would be portage which is responsible. I would suggest that portage is taking a third party package then performing a process on that package to install it in a particular location and manner.

If however you create an app store style environment and take advantage of portage package management, you can do either as you suggested and install an application in a {PREFIX} location or allow portage to do what it does and install an app in an effective and importantly manageable fashion. What I'm trying to suggest is to take advantage of portage, not ignore it in the hope of a quick buck.

As I see it, if a developer were to produce an app for such an app store then that app would need to be packaged and implemented to a standard that would meet the requirements of Portage. If you compile something for an opt-ware platform then it's your responsibility that you don't trample the root fs.


Reminds me of Windows SxS :lol:

p.s. that's why you need >=12GB to install it...
_________________
Gentoo on Uptime Project - Larry is a cow
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regard to opt-ware, I use it on a network attached storage device where the firmware is on the root fs and additional packages install on to disk sharing libraries, writing logs and tmp files within the opt fs.

I wouldn't suggest that for an app store system. All that I was thinking was that in of itself portage can install a commercial application as easily as any other and as such it wouldn't be a big step for it interact with a payment control system. Just like anyone else here I do not want to compromise the integrity of Portage or Gentoo rather I was thinking about making it accessible in a manner similar to Android another Linux distro (separated perhaps by platform and other technicalities). I would ask is that a good idea?

In an ideal world, we would get all our applications built from source with dependencies managed by Portage.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeddySeagoon
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 32112
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum,

I think we have a terminology issue here.

Portage and other package managers just do what they are told by the ebuilds they follow. Package managers are not responsible for anything.

Thats a little simplistic, as package managers implement a lot of things to help make ebuilds easy to write and maintain, just the same, the ebuild is in charge.
How can developers package commercial software - all they will get is a binary blob?
At best, it can be unpacked somewhere safe and the parts installed somewhere harmless.

Responsibility for the install clearly rests with the ebuild author, which needs to be the commercial vendor as the ebuild is their Gentoo installer.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dol-sen
Developer
Developer


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 2559
Location: Richmond, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum, what you are describing/wanting is an application similar to layman which will interact with your store, download the ebuild where portage/pkgcore/paludis will see it to install. That app can even call the package manager to install it once downloaded.

It would not need be integrated into the package manager, otherwise it would have to be added to all 3 currently available. I know that will not happen.
_________________
Brian
Porthole, the Portage GUI frontend irc@freenode: #gentoo-guis, #porthole, Blog
layman, gentoolkit, CoreBuilder, esearch...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon,

Quote:
Portage and other package managers just do what they are told by the ebuilds they follow. Package managers are not responsible for anything.

Exactly so, as such it would be able to preform the tasks of installing an app from an app store.


Quote:
Thats a little simplistic, as package managers implement a lot of things to help make ebuilds easy to write and maintain, just the same, the ebuild is in charge.

I would suggest that an ebuild from an app store would need to conform to the same standards as any other ebuild. Don't forget you openoffice-bin and friefox-bin and others.


Quote:
How can developers package commercial software - all they will get is a binary blob?
At best, it can be unpacked somewhere safe and the parts installed somewhere harmless.

If you take a traditional binary blob, that is what you will get. One of the reasons we get binary blobs, is because normal systems don't have a toolchain. Another reason is that a binary blob is a bit harder to reverse engineer.


Quote:
Responsibility for the install clearly rests with the ebuild author, which needs to be the commercial vendor as the ebuild is their Gentoo installer.

If a developer wants to target any platform there are always hoops specific to that platform to jump through that's life.

In part what I was thinking of that if there's an incentive then developers could chose to develop their application targeting Gentoo.

If I haven't already I now going to reach far into the realms of my ignorance. Using libtool a binary blob could be linked against it's respective libraries as they may be needed on the host system and where necessary they would be upgraded. An ebuild follows a standard pattern and is built in a particular fashion, the install a commercial application should not be different.

Years ago my first Linux Distro was SUSE and each time I installed a new binary blob it didn't need to over write every library it used (maybe perhaps acquire a relevant version).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dol-sen,

Quote:
what you are describing/wanting is an application similar to layman which will interact with your store, download the ebuild where portage/pkgcore/paludis will see it to install. That app can even call the package manager to install it once downloaded.

It would not need be integrated into the package manager, otherwise it would have to be added to all 3 currently available. I know that will not happen.


This is why I am trying to avoid implementation, even the mention of a Portage as a single point of access as you have pointed out has been a mistake. I do believe that you need single point of access and a consistent installation scheme that meets the needs of a Gentoo system.

What I am trying unsuccessfully to get at is that I believe that an app store would be good for developers and users. Maybe if it is a system that can interoperate like layman, which I don't know in detail how it works, but if it can do that then maybe other package manages like yum and yast and apt and so on and also be used in conjunction with such a system.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeddySeagoon
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 32112
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum,

Maybe some examples of commercial packages you would like to see in Gentoo and why would help?
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
chiefbag
Guru
Guru


Joined: 01 Oct 2010
Posts: 440
Location: The Kingdom of Kerry

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with most commercial apps you will be purchasing these for a niche specific purpose.
With this in mind the notion of integrating a one stop package installation manager to cure all problems is absurd.
The reality is if you are willing to purchase such apps for the purpose of running on Linux then most likely you are a seasoned professional admin or a foolish idiot.

Also comparing a closed binary distribution on a MID with no root access does not wash.

As Neddy suggested please give us a real world use case for the feature you are proposing, also how would this really benefit you bar parting with your money by proxy.
_________________
A place for useful technical information
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon,

Quote:
Maybe some examples of commercial packages you would like to see in Gentoo and why would help?


That's easy for you to ask...


    AutoCAD -- CAD software
    Mentor Graphics -- ECAD Software
    Photoshop -- Photo Editing (like the GIMP)
    Matlab -- a numerical functional simulation program
    Sibelius -- a music writing aid
    Gig-finder -- it does what it says it does

Each of these has had years of development millions of dollars investment which with the best will in the world open source will struggle to replicate. An ECAD application needs a library of millions of components that changing year on year, varying in specification and physical characteristics.

An app-store would provide a clear revenue source to a gaming house.

Curiously people want to sell all sorts of strange and specialised applications, worse though are the remarkable things they buy. In truth, I wouldn't have thought of 'Gig-finder' but then that was part of the idea to create a platform to encourage others to bring their ideas into Gentoo.

It seems to me at least in opensource software the further you go from Computer Science type software interest there seems to be taken in it. An example is Xine, a fine piece of software but when I have used it to play a DVD it has consistently performed worse than Power View a commercial DVD player running in Windows on the same hardware (this is in terms of video reproduction and sound tracking).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeddySeagoon
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 32112
Location: 56N 3W

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum,

Your biggest problem with any of these packages is getting the vendors to provide Linux native versions, not installing them.
The return on investment is too small for the vendors to be interested in producing Linux ports.

There are projects like WINE and crossover office that go a long way to allowing Windows apps to run on Linux, so no investment by the application vendor is required.
There are also solutions like VirtualBox on Gentoo, running Windows then your application ... not directly on Linux but still not requiring a Linux port of the application.

As you have noted, some of the applications you cite of free OSS alternatives. Of course, you need to learn to use them.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The model that I was looking at was the app store on mobile phones, tablets and as I am sure that it will follow desktops.

I have used WINE and OSS alternatives.

Have you tried using the Nokia PC suite or TomTom with WINE? The OSS alternative to the Nokia PC suite talks nicely to the phone but can't register with Nokia services.


I'm not advocating the port of matlab to Linux. Talking of which, I have noticed that IE4Linux isn't in Portage but that's not what this is all about. I'm advocating a revenue stream that will attract developers who will in turn attract users. I can not tell you what will be the next killer app but I think it is wise to be in a position to exploit it.

By the way, I found Gig Finder on my phone and Sibelius was originally an Risc OS program running on ARM powered, Acorn Risc PCs.

The models of software distribution are changing. When I first installed Gentoo, I thought the idea of downloading all the ebuilds and associated files was ridiculously time consuming, compared to SUSE which came on only a few DVDs. Unlike established software publishers most modern vendors offer their software as a download via a form of online purchasing. An app store offers those vendors a single place to get together in a secure environment in which their customers feel safe. The app store is not a new idea.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiefbag,

Quote:
As with most commercial apps you will be purchasing these for a niche specific purpose.

The scope of an application is defined by its specification and the imagination of the developer, it doesn't matter whether you've paid for it or not.

Quote:
With this in mind the notion of integrating a one stop package installation manager to cure all problems is absurd.

That is pretty much how I use Portage, mostly. Any problems that I have had in my system of which there have been many, I have researched and invariably used portage to over come.

Quote:
The reality is if you are willing to purchase such apps for the purpose of running on Linux then most likely you are a seasoned professional admin or a foolish idiot.

The purpose is not to run on Linux, no professional buys software just to run on Linux. I'm looking for apps good enough to purchase that happen to run on Linux.

Quote:
Also comparing a closed binary distribution on a MID with no root access does not wash.

Sorry, would you please expand on this sentence.

Quote:
As Neddy suggested please give us a real world use case for the feature you are proposing, also how would this really benefit you bar parting with your money by proxy.

How does it benefit me? The idea is to benefit a lot of people.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_alec
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva


Joined: 11 Sep 2004
Posts: 6066
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duco Ergo Sum wrote:

    AutoCAD -- CAD software
    Mentor Graphics -- ECAD Software
    Photoshop -- Photo Editing (like the GIMP)
    Matlab -- a numerical functional simulation program
    Sibelius -- a music writing aid
    Gig-finder -- it does what it says it does

Of all of these, Matlab is the only one that has a linux port. There is no ebuild for it, but there are alternatives like scilab and octave which are trivial to install (just emerge). Gig-finder seems silly for a desktop, you can use Last.fm to get suggestions of music gigs you are interested in, and pay using whichever website the distributors use.

As for games, it is likely that there will be web-based technologies for them (Chrome App Store, maybe a Mozilla App Store) - you can already play Angry Birds online for free.
_________________
www.gentoo.org.au || #gentoo-au
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark_alec,

Angry Birds certainly one kind of game, it wouldn't have look very much out of place on an Amiga 1200. Would Angry Birds have competed with Zool on the Amiga or North and South or Pang, to put this in context that was just before Doom came out.

As for Gig-finder and Last.fm, I only mentioned Gig-finder because it was there, I don't actually use it. Even though there is a trend towards web based technologies, there isn't going to be an over night transformation. You're not going to wake up tomorrow morning to discover no one's using word or word prefect rather a web based document editing program like Google Documents. I regularly use xterms on my desktop machine.

All that I'm suggesting is a additional mechanism to expand on what is available currently in Gentoo. Maybe the term app store is wrong.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akkara
Administrator
Administrator


Joined: 28 Mar 2006
Posts: 5236
Location: &akkara

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if you're being serious with this suggestion. There's a lot of problems with it.

The first problem is getting companies to port their for-pay MS.Windows and MacOS applications to linux in general so there's even something to buy. If the apps were available, it's not too hard to write an ebuild that extracts the file(s) that you had purchased and puts the contents where they should go. But it seems that most commercial software houses aren't interested in linux in general, let alone this uncommon distribution of a poor-market-share OS.

The next problem is compatibility. Each Gentoo installation is customized to the individual's needs. Apps would either have to bundle everything they need, leading to big installs and a huge mess (think duplicate kde/gnome libraries), or else be prepared to offer frequent updates as the libraries landscape changes. Given the tiny market share, I don't see this happening.

A big problem is the infrastructure required to support payment. Anyone can sync and emerge whatever they want without so much as making an account. Things can get mirrored and there's no mechanism to report back who installed what when - there's no need for it because there's no money changing hands, thus no infrastructure. It'd be a Big Deal to try to retrofit customer & payment infrastructure on a system that wasn't designed for it.

Then there's the question of jurisdiction and taxes. If apps are to be sold through the site, would "we" be responsible for collecting and remitting any taxes due to the proper authorities? Who's going to manage that? Remember, we're all volunteers and the laws are constantly changing, so it's not a matter of doing it once and forgetting about it. There'd need to be ongoing attention to this.

And perhaps the biggest question is that of liability. Something goes wrong, who reimburses who and how? The moment money starts changing hands there's higher expectations and demands. The Gentoo organization would be taking on a lot of liability for very minimal benefit.

There would need to be some serious lawyering going on to answer all these questions while making sure it all works in the context of the existing non-profit organization. And last I checked, lawyers aren't free :)

In short, I do not see this happening because (1) on the supplier side we're too small of a market for them to care about; and (2) on the Gentoo side it is too much work and too much liability for no benefit to the volunteers that would have to do it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm not sure if you're being serious with this suggestion. There's a lot of problems with it.

Yes I am serious. What I am thinking of is a situation similar to that which is available for Android phone except on a desktop Linux distribution. I brought this up as a matter for discussion not to advocate "MY brilliant idea. The best thing since last Tuesday when I invented well all I can tell you is that it a large disk like object will revolutionise transport".

Quote:
The first problem is getting companies to port their for-pay MS.Windows and MacOS applications to linux in general so there's even something to buy. If the apps were available, it's not too hard to write an ebuild that extracts the file(s) that you had purchased and puts the contents where they should go. But it seems that most commercial software houses aren't interested in linux in general, let alone this uncommon distribution of a poor-market-share OS.

No respectfully that is not the first problem though it is one of many. I would suggest the developers to target are those who at the moment write for IOS and Android. But the question here which I think should have been asked this morning is, would a market place like encourage young and new developers? Those few of us who choose this operating system usually work in or around the computing industry. Linux is not a low profile OS.

Quote:
The next problem is compatibility. Each Gentoo installation is customized to the individual's needs. Apps would either have to bundle everything they need, leading to big installs and a huge mess (think duplicate kde/gnome libraries), or else be prepared to offer frequent updates as the libraries landscape changes. Given the tiny market share, I don't see this happening.

As I have mentioned before there are already binary packages within Gentoo. To address this though I'd suggest that these developers distribute their applications as source code. I realise that this presents a real risk of reverse engineering but I believe anyone who is motivated to find a cracked 'free' version of some software will do so. Most close source applications I've heard of that have clever protection scheme are cracked anyway. So perhaps it needs to be thought of as a honesty box? Any way this would allow the use of the current features offered by portage.

Quote:
A big problem is the infrastructure required to support payment. Anyone can sync and emerge whatever they want without so much as making an account. Things can get mirrored and there's no mechanism to report back who installed what when - there's no need for it because there's no money changing hands, thus no infrastructure. It'd be a Big Deal to try to retrofit customer & payment infrastructure on a system that wasn't designed for it.

You'll get no argument from me on this one. Any payment system, account tracking, licensing explanation with reference to portage would purely be guess work on my part. Except to say that I suspect it would require a complete redisgn... No sorry that was a guess too.

Quote:
Then there's the question of jurisdiction and taxes. If apps are to be sold through the site, would "we" be responsible for collecting and remitting any taxes due to the proper authorities? Who's going to manage that? Remember, we're all volunteers and the laws are constantly changing, so it's not a matter of doing it once and forgetting about it. There'd need to be ongoing attention to this.

Another good question. I have noticed for example sagepay offering a payment services and question there is then in terms of taxes jurisdiction would they be able to manage that and at what cost? I would not for a moment suggest that this would be easy but the point of discussing it is to explore issues like these and have an idea of the impact such a development would have on Gentoo.

Quote:
And perhaps the biggest question is that of liability. Something goes wrong, who reimburses who and how? The moment money starts changing hands there's higher expectations and demands. The Gentoo organization would be taking on a lot of liability for very minimal benefit.

If someone writes software, then they are liable for that software. If the distribution system fails to deliver that software then the distribution system is liable. That would be my take on matters and you're right, opening a shop of any kind is a legal nightmare!

Quote:
There would need to be some serious lawyering going on to answer all these questions while making sure it all works in the context of the existing non-profit organization. And last I checked, lawyers aren't free

To be serious again, the idea would be to offer a service. Any profit made by the operation of the service would simply be reinvested into Gentoo, or managed to meet the requirements for a non-profit organisation. If a charity shop makes a profit does it stop being a charity or even a shop? The first port of call, I would suggest is get advice from other non-profit organisations which support themselves through what might normally be termed commercial activities. Then you'll know what you need from a lawyer and even which lawyers to talk to.

Quote:
(1) on the supplier side we're too small of a market for them to care about;

Some would call that a niche market and a niche market can grow. I'm not saying it will.

Quote:
(2) on the Gentoo side it is too much work and too much liability for no benefit to the volunteers that would have to do it.

Firstly the liability would need to be clearly identified and assigned correctly. Secondly it is a lot of work. Thirdly the benefit would be the same as always, not very much.

The technological landscape is changing. Embedded systems are on the rise and with them so is Linux and in this case Embedded doesn't just mean washing machines, engine management and home automation, it means consumer electronics, first phones, then tablets soon net books and laptop and sooner or later you're back at the desktop.

An old quote, "Educations may be expensive but have you tried costing ignorance?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Genone
Retired Dev
Retired Dev


Joined: 14 Mar 2003
Posts: 9013
Location: beyond the rim

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll have a hard time to find anyone inside Gentoo remotely interested to get involved with any accounting stuff, not even considering the legal issues you have to consider (there are enough problems with just keeping the Foundation running). Also I doubt commercial vendors would be very interested (simply not enough marketshare for desktop linux, or Gentoo in particular). And any comparison of desktop linux with android is simply nonsense, they're completely different ecosystems (android kernel might be open source, but the ecosystem is mostly closed).
Considering that I won't even start with the technical issues.

Now if you were talking about creating a derived distro targeting specific embedded devices, and had some vendor backup the story would be very different.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Duco Ergo Sum
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 137
Location: Winsford

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Genone,

I'll try to be brief. In the first instance I agree with you on a popularity scale of one to ten this topic I am sure would be in the double digits, albeit with a negative sign.

If I may also abuse the term ecosystem, the point of all this was to explore the idea of how an ecosystem can grow, change and the perceptions of such events. For perceptions see above :)

I can not agree about embedded devices, just look at Meego.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Gentoo Chat All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum