[Cialug] Package Your Damned App

Todd Walton tdwalton at gmail.com
Wed Feb 20 14:27:25 UTC 2019

Okay, the subject line is a little much. I don't actually feel that
strongly about it. But I do very much wish that some of the useful
applications I use or would like to use were compiled, packaged, or
otherwise distributed in such a way that I didn't have to use your
programming language's special snowflake distribution mechanism. I got
a new laptop recently and I've been trying very hard to not install
anything to it that's not high value to my productivity. I want to
keep it clean. And so I've been learning to install the other oddball
stuff into containers or the like. But some stuff just doesn't work
that very well doing that. I got libreoffice to install in a Docker
container and it works! That was awesome. But anything that uses
curses seems to be a no go. (Ncurses, I mean. My own dirty mouth has
run unabated.)

I wouldn't have to go to this effort if I could get compiled
applications that didn't rely on cargo, pip, npm, etc. Those apps are
always getting into trouble stepping on their own feet. I have
learned, in case you didn't know, that pip and virtualenv are no
longer the "preferred" way for end users to manage their Python
packages. There's a new thing called pipenv and it's the bees knees.
But it still takes effort to manage. Effort I'd rather be putting into
my actual work work.

Also, when do we get to the place where everyone respects XDG base
dirs? Or at least stops hard coding their working directories into the
application? Give me an environment variable? Something?

Happy Hump Day everybody!


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