Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Extra Software

No operating system - no matter how good - comes with a complete set of every piece of software you're likely to want. There are always cases where an end-user needs to add additional software to meet specific needs. Corporate servers need business software; developers may want to live on the bleeding edge.

I used to maintain a lot of stuff myself. But this has become harder and harder over time, as build systems become more complex and less intelligent, and dependencies becore more entwined and harder to resolve.

One place I now use to keep stuff up to date - and to try software out easily without having to invest the effort in building the whole dependency tree from scratch myself - is Blastwave.

It's very use. Install pkg-get and go install. It grabs the software you want and installs it and any dependencies you need. All simple and painless.

Of course, what it also shows you is how bad this dependency tracking gets. I wanted to try out a couple of pieces of software this afternoon - dia and enlightenment as it happens - and off it went, installing package after package. It's a lot easier than doing it myself, but complexity is on the rise and I'm not sure how close we are to total meltdown.

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