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GraphicsMuse: Stepping up to Setup, Loki's Open Source package installation utility

Dec 15, 1999, 20:48 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Hammel)

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"So you're a software developer with a product to deliver and you're wondering how to package it. The format you deliver your software (either via download or on CD) will have a big impact on it's success. End users, rightfully or not, judge a package heavily on it's ease of installation. For traditional Linux users it's never been a big problem - gzipped tar files of the source code are the norm. Everyone knows how to build source, right?"

"Wrong. Welcome to the new Linux revolution. Now we're talking about two new kinds of users: those who don't know or care about how to build software and those who know but don't want to waste time dealing with building it. In both cases, you need to provide binary distributions that they can have up and running lickety split. You need end-user oriented automated installation tools...."

"Enter setup, the simply named front end installation tool from Loki. Loki, the company best know for it's port of major games to Linux, developed setup as a way to simplify installation of their products for end users. Setup is not a replacement for RPM - it's a more user friendly front end that is generic enough to not care what format the installation files are in. This means that you can use the ubiquitous RPM files if you choose, or you can revert back to the old gzipped tar files. Setup doesn't care what you use. And that makes it useful to any developer."

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