Thursday, January 3, 2008

Developing for userspace (linux-focused)

On great Python utility is virtual Python. It is a script which will take your system Python install and leverage that to create a Python binary in your home directory. The advantage is that you can then install all kinds of third-party libraries without (a) root permissions or (b) messing up your primary installation.

It can be used to create several different "homes" for Python, which could let you experiment with library version, install procedures or a variety of other things.

More people should develop for userspace.

I was recently trying to install C#, something which I would love to learn. On linux this means mono. On a standard operating environment without root priveleges, this means a *lot* of dependencies (due to old versions of Stuff) and a lot of compiling.

It would be great if RPM (and apt, or pick-your-favourite-installer) could handle the idea of a userspace package repository. Maybe they can and I don't know about it, but I've not seen any information on the topic. Things that get installed should have a userspace option. If I want to grab the latest gnome, mono and C# libraries into user-space without root priveleges, I should be able to. I should be crippled just because I'm not root. It doesn't seem beyond the capacity of linux to allow users to do this, since it already supports the userspace paradigm very well.

-Tennessee