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Ximian Red Carpet Beta Released

Feb 21, 2001, 12:40 (36 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Diego Restrepo for the tip. ]

Announcing Red Carpet 0.9 Beta

You have waited frothingly in anticipation. You have endured a perpetual release date of "two more weeks." You may have, in a senseless act of anxiety over this amazing work of art, even whispered the "V"-word[1] under your breath. You have tormented the developers on IRC. You have begun the chanting. You have burned towns. You have seized ships and blockaded ports.

Red Carpet is here.

Red Carpet is the next generation Ximian updater and software management application. Based around the concept of "channels", or content groupings, Red Carpet will be able to present you with a virtually endless array of software for your GNU/Linux and Unix systems. In addition to just updating packages already installed on your system, Red Carpet allows you to install new software and remove existing software. Red Carpet operates seamlessly with your existing packaging tools on both RPM and dpkg-based systems, giving you a consistent interface for managing your software on any Linux distribution. And, with DepTricketyTrackTrackTronixTron 9000, our amazing dependency and conflict resolution system, the nightmare of dependencies all but vanish from your life. Rejoice.

We will now move into the question and answer section of our release announcement:

Q. Is this a beta? 0.9? What's going on here? Where am I? Why am I wearing a clown wig?
A. With our best efforts we have tried to find every bug, duplicate every dependency situation, become one with both RPM and dpkg, and click on everything rapidly and repeatedly. However, we are most ashamed to admit that we did not discover every possible bug, could not duplicate all of the horrors that are your packaging database, failed to achieve spiritual enlightenment, and simply cannot click as fast as you can. As a result, we present this application to you in beta form. Frankly, we want you to do thangs to it. You find bugs, we'll fix em.

Q. How do I get it?
A. Binary packages for Red Hat 6, Red Hat 7, and Debian GNU/Linux systems are available now through the Red Carpet mirror in the Ximian GNOME Updater. For Debian users, add this line to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb ftp://spidermonkey.ximian.com/pub/red-carpet/binary/debian-22-i386/ ./

You can also get them, as well as the source tarball, from ftp.ximian.com/pub/red-carpet. Because we're in the process of moving our office and we overwork our build people, binary RPMs for the remainder of our supported Linux distributions will be available a little later. Sorry.

Q. Okay, I've got it. Now what?
A. Give it a whirl. You can find Red Carpet from the Programs->System menu on the foot launcher or on the top menubar. After it downloads all of the channel bar, you should probably verify that your system's dependencies are fulfilled by choosing "Verify Installed Packages" from the File menu. After that, go buck wild. Subscribe to channels, install new software, check out our totally l33t About page, whatever you want.

Q. "I found a bug" or "Red Carpet sucks! How do I tell you how bad you suck?"
A. In the unlikely event that you find a bug, please submit them to the Ximian bugzilla at http://bugzilla.ximian.com. We've created a public mailing list, red-carpet@ximian.com, for you to tell us exactly how much we suck. Or rule. We're ready for it. We can take it. You can subscribe to it at http://lists.ximian.com/mailman/listinfo/red-carpet. By the way, help control the pet population: have your pets spayed or neutered.

Q. Tell me more about channels.
A. That's not really a question, but I would be happy to. With channels we are able to provide you with a much wider variety of software and in a much cleaner way than what was possible with our old updater technology. Channels can be subscribed to selectively, meaning that you only ever receive information on updates of software that interest you.

Q. So, uh, does that mean it'll update my distribution too?
A. Oh yeah. Red Carpet detects what distribution you are running and presents a channel of it, with all of the updates issed from the vendor. Red Carpet can install any software on your system, as long as there's a channel for it. In essence, Red Carpet becomes the central point for installing, updating, and managing software on your computer.

Q. What about package signing and verification?
A. You'll want to install GnuPG to verify package signatures. We have included the public keys for Ximian, Red Hat, Caldera, TurboLinux, Mandrake, and SuSE. Most distros provide them these days. If you don't have it, Red Carpet will still run fine.

Q. Does this replace the Ximian GNOME Updater?
A. Because this is a beta, we don't want to prevent people from updating their system in the event that it breaks. As Red Carpet is an infinite improvement over the old updater that we introduced in March 2000 in every way, it will replace the Ximian GNOME Updater at some point in the future. In the meantime, however, they should both work.

Q. You broke my Evolution snapshots. What the hell?
A. Sorry bout that. It was necessary to eliminate a pointless dependency on Red Carpet. Your Evolution will be broken until you install new snapshots (which should be built tonight). Look on the bright side, though, you'll be able to install those snapshots with Red Carpet! Sweet!

Q. Who worked on Red Carpet?
A. Red Carpet is the result of months of work by the following people:

DEVELOPERS:
Ian Peters
Joe Shaw
Vladimir Vukicevic

CONTRIBUTORS:
Jacob Berkman

USER INTERFACE DESIGN:
Anna Dirks

ARTWORK:
Tuomas Kousmannen
Jakub Steiner

In addition, many thanks go out to Larry Ewing and Radek Doulik for their work on GtkHTML, on which Red Carpet heavily relies. They've had to deal with our constant pestering in addition to those of the pesky Evolution developers. All too often our conversations went like this:

"Dude, there is a bug in GtkHTML."
"That isn't a GtkHTML bug."
"Yeah dude, it is."
"Dude, no it isn't."
"Dude, it is."
"No, dude, it isn't."
Pause.
"Hmm. You're right, it isn't. Sorry, dude."
Thanks, guys. We're dorks.

Lastly, special thanks go out to Matt Wilson, who, aside from his help, plain and simply totally rules.

Q. How many inside jokes are in this release announcement?
A. I quit counting around eight. Joe Shaw, however, will give one hundred AMERICAN dollars to the first person to identify all of them and their origins.

[1] Vapo(u)rware.