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Author Topic: A REAL installer for Lazarus  (Read 18392 times)

alejol0

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A REAL installer for Lazarus
« on: May 02, 2010, 03:22:52 am »
Installing Lazarus on Linux is an adventure.

In some Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, things seem simple, but always missing puzzle piece.

In other Linux distributions, you need to compile Lazarus from scratch.
If you can get to work, the IDE, run the help system is another painful process.

Therefore, I would like a REAL installer, as in Windows. In Windows, it is not necessary to install the C compiler, the
Free Pascal compiler, the source code of Free Pascal, Lazarus IDE, then the documentation of Lazarus, crossing their fingers in the process hoping that all required libraries are available and well together.

 In Windows, download a single large executable installer and all the material is installed.

I hope the team of Lazarus begins to distribute a real installer for Linux.
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Marc

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2010, 01:10:34 pm »
I hope the team of Lazarus begins to distribute a real installer for Linux.

I explained in a previous post with the same subject, that this is not possible, since the is not one linux, but dozens of distributions all doing things their way. So you need an installer/packager for each distro.
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wOvAN

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 01:27:03 pm »
Linux must die! However there is a way to simplify the installation process. Just unpack installation packages manually wherever you want and set all the path, I find this way easier and more convenient. 

jarto

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2010, 01:52:16 pm »
The Linux package management systems are actually really great. The offer very easy installation and updates. The problem is only, that FPC and Lazarus are usually not included in them. However, that will probably change as Lazarus matures.

Troodon

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2010, 02:32:50 pm »
The available .deb and .rpm Lazarus/FPC packages are fine. Installation is seamless on Linux Ubuntu and SUSE. People should be encouraged to learn Linux first, it's very different from Windows. Actually, that is the main complaint of Windows users trying to switch to Linux. There is no such thing as an "installer" for Linux (with a few statically-linked commercial exceptions), just packages that are installed by package management systems, somewhat like the .msi packages on Windows. The main reason for that is, each executable and shared libray has specific dependecies that must be resolved (i.e., additional packages must be found in the repositories, fetched, and installed if necessary, along with their own dependencies) by the package management system.

As Marc pointed out, it would be virtually impossible to create specific packages for the more than 600 Linux distributions that one may choose from.

On Linux Ubuntu, always pick the metapackage for Lazarus to install, it includes everything.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 03:18:32 pm by Troodon »
Lazarus/FPC on Linux

jhmos

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2010, 02:52:15 pm »
Help installation is the one thing I would agree with in the complaint.
In the Ubuntu/debian packages at least, help does not get set up properly on installation.
Also there is no documentation I could find on how to set help up manually, having Hints against all the options in 'Environment ->Options-> Help Options' would be a good idea.

alejol0

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2010, 04:01:44 pm »
Hi Marc.
Well, many people want "portable applications". Why? Because people hate installation troubleshooting. And I think they have reason. And portable applications are the future (and was the past, in Windows in DOS days).

Why Lazarus can not be statically linked with all the stuff neded to work in each Linux distro that have a desktop?
And, why separate downloads for documentation and compiler and IDE in Linux? Yes, ther are 600 Linux distros. But I believe that majority of this have a desktop methaphore, and that a executable installer can know in which environment it is running and adjust things for properly working on this particular distro.

People do not like Linux when things so simple to do in Windows are so difficult in Linux. And this form of distributing applications for Linux is a mess for common people and is compelling for return to Micro$oft. (Few people has a friend with advanced Linux knowledge, but a young children can install anything in windows).
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alejol0

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 04:14:06 pm »
People should be encouraged to learn Linux first, it's very different from Windows. Actually, that is the main complaint of Windows users trying to switch to Linux. There is no such thing as an "installer" for Linux (with a few statically-linked commercial exceptions), just packages that are installed by package management systems, somewhat like the .msi packages on Windows.
Why? Imagine you have learned to drive a car. One day, someone want sell you a car that is managed using a joystick. How many people want to re-learn how to drive? And, what is the advantage in doing this? And, why the car constructor do not have respected the knowledge of common people and want to re-invent the wheel?

As Marc pointed out, it would be virtually impossible to create specific packages for the more than 600 Linux distributions that one may choose from.

On Linux Ubuntu, always pick the metapackage for Lazarus to install, it includes everything.
Well, I have installed Lazarus in Ubuntu 9.10 and the off-line help is missed. I believe that help system must to be integrated in every application in XXI century.
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Martin_fr

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 04:44:20 pm »
I think marc reffered to this http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php/topic,9072.msg44958.html#msg44958

Anyway the point is, Lazarus needs certain libraries, certain include files, headers, and what else => they must be installed one your linux system, or lazarus can not run.

These dependencies are not part of lazarus, they are part off other packages (X11, gtk, libc, gcc, ...).
Even if we wanted Lazarus could not simply include a copy of them, because they come in different versions, and vary for each system.

If Lazarus had it's own "installer", then this installer would still have to find all those dependencies (or even if it carried a 100 diff copies of them, it would have to find out which one to use).
And the best info to find out where or what they are is the package system.

It would be impossible, impracticable, and nonsensical for Lazarus to maintain it's own list, and try to be better at this than the official package system...

---
The best way, do minimize issues, is at the time you install your Linux:
Somewhere there usually is an option, that let's you choose to install all the developer packages => then and only then all the stuff Lazarus needs, should be there already.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2010, 04:46:03 pm by Martin_fr »

wOvAN

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 05:31:43 pm »
Linux wasn't made for common people or independent developers. Linux was made for the linux community.

jarto

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 05:43:06 pm »
People do not like Linux when things so simple to do in Windows are so difficult in Linux. And this form of distributing applications for Linux is a mess for common people and is compelling for return to Micro$oft. (Few people has a friend with advanced Linux knowledge, but a young children can install anything in windows).
Installing software in Linux: Start the package manager, select the software you want from a list and click install. That's it.

Installing software in Windows: Download the right version, save it somewhere, run setup, answer a bunch of questions.

Installing updates in Linux: The package manager monitors and takes care of all updates. You only have to click yes, when it asks.

Installing updates in Windows: Some software have automatic updates, but they are basically all different. Otherwise you have to download and reinstall yourself.

Having used both Windows and Linux for years, I sincerely think that Linux is way more user friendly and advanced in this regard.

It may be that the Lazarus help is not included in the rpm/deb-packages or the quality of the Lazarus rpm/deb-packages is not good enough. However, that can be fixed by improving the packages. Writing a dedicated and different setup program is a lot more work and a huge step in the wrong direction.

LazaruX

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2010, 08:15:59 pm »
As I know binaries on Linux may differ from distribution to distribution (don't know why, hoewever), so its impossible to create one binary that works everywhere.
Also, In Windows you can have Program A that depends on libDEP and program B that depents on libDEP, in windows you will find that libDEP is twice availabele, probably in the installation folder of Program A and of Program B, in Linux, to save space its shared, so creating one software with all the dependencies in it, is a huge difficulty.

However, yesterday I installed NetBeans and it has a kinda graphical installer, I don't know how it works, but it has an easier way. (i think its a sh that those some stuff)
OpenOffice.org also has a graphical installer,

So if those 2 big projects have a kind auserfriendly installer, why shouldn't Lazarus have one???
I know this is not a priority for version 1.0, but still it may be possible to create a kinda installer.

wOvAN

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2010, 08:32:32 pm »
Then it would be better to create a cross-platform scriptable installation-system. Like  Inno Setup :)

Marc

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2010, 08:55:40 pm »
On linux (and windows too) you have statically linked en dynamically linked applications. statically linked apps are huge and have all libraries linked into them. They have no dependencies.

But this is not the case for lazarus. And installing lazarus itself is not a problem too. But what everyone forgets is that lazarus is a development environment. Such environment must know where the (development) libraries are, to what libraries to link to. And thats the problem some ppl have here. They use a Lunix distribution not suitable for development. So all development links to the needed libraries aren't installed.
This is not something an installer can solve. This is something a developer can solve by installing the proper packages fit his/her distro.
Applications generate by lazarus don't suffer from this, it is only the linker who needs to know.
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Troodon

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Re: A REAL installer for Lazarus
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2010, 09:05:10 pm »
The availability of documentation (the help system included) is a known issue in open-source projects. Writing good documentation is time-consuming and keeping it up to date is even more. When resources are scarce it is difficult to find the time, and to put in the effort, required to keep documentation updated. Perhaps the fact that Lazarus Help defaults to the Web pages should be a strong hint for developers that the off-line help may be at least partly obsolete; that should not come as a surprise.

As for the installer for Linux: Inno Setup does not check for dependencies, so you need to create a statically linked program to make sure it will run at all. An .msi will allow you to specify at least some dependencies (e.g., minimum Windows, or DirectX version) but its major advantage is that it provides a mechanism to control software versions (e.g., you can replace an old version of your program with a new one). To create an installer for a Linux application, such as the Acrobat Reader installers from Adobe, you would need to statically link in your binary all libraries it depends on. I cannot imagine what the size of the Lazarus executable would be if it were statically linked against all of its dependencies (and I am not sure that would not break a few license agreements). One of the strongest paradigms in Linux is the use of shared libraries. Hence the need for a package management system, software repositories, etc.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 05:08:25 pm by Troodon »
Lazarus/FPC on Linux