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Re: Bug#374373: ITP: googleearth-package -- utility for automatically building a Google Earth Debian package




"Wesley J. Landaker" <wjl@icecavern.net> wrote in message 44960A5D.9090003@icecavern.net">news:44960A5D.9090003@icecavern.net...
Joe Smith wrote:
Is this really needed? Google was very careful in making sure that the
package installs in /usr/local, and does not interfere with the
system. Normally the main reason why a debian package is better than
what upsteam distributed is because using upstreams packages will mess
with stuff it should not touch.
Well, it doesn't install in /usr/local (by default, you can get it
there) but in a user's home directory. Actually, perhaps if you run it
as root it will pick /usr/local by default, but I didn't try that (I
don't usually run things as root, even stuff from Google).
Google Earth takes care of its own updates by prompting the user, and
allowing them to download and run the new installer (or at least it
does on windows, and I can't imagine why the linux version would not).
Needing to use a *-package utility prevents automatic updates anyway,
and does not simplify installation much if any. So the only real
advantage would seem to be that it would make Google Earth easier to
uninstall. Well I guess it simplifies pushing updates out to a bunch
of workstations, but in most cases users should just download the the
.bin and run it.
Apparently, the "easier to uninstall" is a bigger deal to me than it is
to you. So this utility may not be for you.

There has only been one version out for GNU/Linux as far as I'm aware,
so I'm not sure anyone knows exactly how the updater works. Seeing how
their software is packaged, I actually don't see any way that the
Debianized version would break updates if run as root (which would have
to be the case anyway unless every user has their own version) but
personally I don't like programs that try to update themselves outside
of package management.
I agree that programs that use mechanisms other than the package manager to manage files can be a real pain, but remeber that a GNU/linux system is not guarenteed to have any package manager at all. On such a system self-updates can be quite usefull. Also remeber that /usr/local is not managed by package managers, so programs that live there can manage their files however they want without any problems.

I'm pretty sure that it simply downloads and run the new installer. This is what it does on windows. The problem is that if a user uses the installer, and installs into /usr (like the debian package presumably does) then unless the debian package puts everything in exactly the same spot the installer would have, then it will not be possible to fully uninstall using the debs.


Anyway, there are a few advantages:
 * Once you've made the package, you can install on multiple machines
easily.
 * It's much cleaner, as you have a managed Debian package to
install/uninstall.
 * In-program updates are optional (run as root and do them, or don't).
 * If you don't like doing it this way, nobody is going to make you do
it. =)

But the most important one of all is: I've found it useful, I've got it
working[1], and I'd like to give others an opportunity to use it if they
want to.


Fair enough. Ideal would be to recive permission from upstream to simply repackage the files in the tarballs into a non-free deb, possibly showing the EULA as a debconf question of the highest priority. Preseeding the EULA question could easilly be seen as pre-accepting the EULA, so that should not be a problem. With a package like that, the only potiential problem is the programs internal update mechanism. Perhaps Google would consider adding a way to remove/hide the internal update choice.



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