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Hi Guys! I just wanted to share something with everyone. Although I donít consider myself as a Linux expert, and I have been using Linux for only a year or so, I am a strong supporter! In order to do something for the cause, I joined a local Linux group Linux Pakistan a month ago. A part of our objectives is to fight for Linux's share in local magazines.
So, I decided to contact the editor of a local computer magazine who is dedicated to windows and related technologies. I managed to arrange a meeting with him, and convinced him how Linux is the future operating system and how we should increase its awareness for a combined effort in its progress. I finally persuaded him. He asked if there was some good Linux software I would recommend to include in the next month's CD. Given my knowledge of frustration newbies deal with due for multimedia support, I decided to include a multimedia application, MPlayer. Another reason for this choice was that due to new copyright acts being imposed and MPlayer's fate in threat, I thought I would be a good idea to distribute it as much as possible as long as it is breathing.
He asked me to deliver the application package by next day. Then things started occuring to me that I never gave much thought before. I copied the MPlayer rpm I use on a CD, but then realized it was for Suse only. I fetched another rpm for Fedora and another for Mandrake, and copied them too. Then I realized my Suse rpm for version 9.2 only, and older versions need different rpms. After estimating the total size for rpms for at least two popular versions of the three distributions, I came to know that nearly half of the magazine CD will be filled with MPlayers only. So, I decided to opt for MPlayer source. I decided to maker sure that although users will have to compile the source, they donít face any other difficulty. After googling about it for sometime, I realized that MPlayer has some issues with newer versions of GCC and the recommended version on forums is GCC 2.8, which isnít shipped with any new Linux distribution anymore. So I decided to include GCC 2.8 in the CD along with MPlayer source too. Now the GCC package wasnít some piece of cake too, and once again I was in the flavor/version deadlock.
The end of the story was I decided to include source, as well as rpms for only latest version of Suse, Fedora and Mandrake. As a further step, I visited the local market and made sure they had latest versions of these Linux flavors available. They had Fedora and Mandrake, and I provided them with Suse.
After the magazine was published, the feedback was great, and I was forwarded many mails by the editor of readers praising the introduction of Linux articles and software with the magazine. So all efforts finally paid off. But I wondered if there was a better way? if not in implementation, does a new system even exist on our horizon that will replace entirely this flavor-version headache. I think it will be a big step for the Linux community, and even though it seems tedious, it will be worth all the pain! Long Live The Penguin!
Last edited by mdoubledragon; 06-03-2005 at 07:29 AM.
Well, I use Xmms or Real Player, if it uses a window codac, I usally do with out. Check out www.distrowatch.com and check outthe Live CD versions. I figure tha this would be the easy way is getting a working Linux Distro in the hands of many. The othe roption would for you to make your own distro.
It's great that you got a windows magazine to put Linux software on there CD, and Mplayer is a good choice, however, including the source, binaries, and compiler may not be the easiest way to distribute a piece of software.
Most creaters of Linux Distros have there own Installers, and Package Managers, therefore different types of pre-compiled applications making them easier to install, but then you have as you said many diff flavors of the same application. That's just how linux is though and why it is so flexible.
Most Linux applications including the OS itself is obtained over the Internet. You wont find much Linux software in the computer stores. Magazines are a good way to distribute Linux Itself, and I would try to convince your magazine to include the Linux OS rather then single applications. He may also find that giving his readers a choice may increase sales...