GnuCash Autopackage

Neil Williams linux at
Mon May 2 16:54:04 EDT 2005

On Monday 02 May 2005 1:08 pm, Rykel wrote:
> Hi friends,
> I was wondering if anybody here could help me create an
> autopackage for the latest version of GnuCash?

OK, I've had a look at the autopackage website, I've got an idea of what it's 
trying to do (make installation "easier" and more GUI) - and the only thing 
I'd say is, WAIT.

GnuCash 1.8 is not easy to package in any form. This might be easier with the 
Gnome2 port (as it already works for Gimp etc.)

> I am not technically savvy enough to be able to do so myself,

The autopackage site itself recommends that these things are only done by the 
developers of the application.

"Typically the person who should be making an autopackage should be the 
maintainer of the software themselves, so external patches are not relevant. 
This is the best arrangement because that way users are guaranteed that 
source code releases are accompanied by binary releases - there is no need 
for them to hang around waiting for somebody to rebuild the package for 

Of course, what they've missed, is that the developers of the application 
don't have TIME to also package it usually. That's why there are package 
maintainers. It is these people who generate binary packages after each 
source code release. In effect, autopackage becomes yet another package 
format to maintain and someone needs to do all that work. 

You do have to have detailed knowledge of C and autofoo, you also need to be 
able to send patches back to the main source tree.

To me, the biggest problem with autopackage as it stands is:
"Is autopackage cross-platform? 
No, right now it only works on x86 and x86-64."

That means that although GnuCash currently runs on Mac OSX and numerous other 
architectures, e.g. under Debian: alpha arm hppa i386 ia64 m68k mips mipsel 
powerpc s390 and sparc, autopackage would restrict that to just 2. So it 
becomes an additional format, not a replacement.

> but if you can do it for the benefit of all GnuCash users, it would
> be greatly appreciated!

I'm not sure it would be that universally welcomed. It's a nice idea but it is 
a LARGE amount of work. It's a critical mass thing - until there are more 
applications using it, applications won't port to it and so it goes round.


Neil Williams

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