[lsb-discuss] [packaging] LSB Package API

Robert Schweikert robert.schweikert at mathworks.com
Tue Jun 24 04:53:16 PDT 2008

Dan Kegel wrote:
> <snip>
> Can somebody in those shoes fill me in a bit?
OK, I'll try.

In general ISVs support more than one OS (considering all Linux 
distributions as 1 for the purpose of this discussion). The idea is to 
provide the same or similar install technology on all supported 
platforms. For this reason many ISVs use Java based installers such as 
InstallAnywhere or InstallShield that run on the supported platforms. 
For ISVs writing their own installers it is also generally desirable to 
have one interface on all supported platforms, this may be implemented 
in Java or C++ with a platform independent toolkit.

But the interface is only one piece of the puzzle to installation. The 
second piece of the puzzle is the distribution format of binaries. 
Preferably one wants to have a format that works the same or very 
similarly on all supported platforms. Ideally the interface to this tool 
is simple and needs no auxiliary data that has to be maintained.

Last but not least the third piece of the puzzle is the privilege level 
at install time. While from a security point of view it may be a 
nightmare to have users install apps on their system it is not an ISVs 
job to prescribe a security model when it comes to installation. If a 
user wants to install the app in his/her home directory then it is not 
the ISVs installer's job to disallow such installation.

I think this summarizes things reasonably well. Now a few comments on 
the Berlin API.

The idea was to provide hooks into the packaging system of the 
distribution such that generic installers can provide information to the 
packaging system about what files were installed and where they live, in 
case the app was installed as root. These hooks would provide a pseudo 
integration of an ISV app with the underlying packaging system such that 
for example "rpm -qa | grep myApp" will provide reasonable data.

Hope this helps,
> Thanks,
> Dan
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Robert Schweikert                       MAY THE SOURCE BE WITH YOU
(robert.schweikert at mathworks.com)                 LINUX
The MathWorks Inc.
Phone : 508-647-2042

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