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Re: macOS: I'm having a hard time seeing how copying a directory with everything necessary contained in it is not a good install procedure. Install a program: copy to the Applications folder. Uninstall a program: Cmd-Delete or drag to trash.

Compare to Linux, where a piece of software is scattered around /usr/bin, /usr/lib, /usr/share, /usr/doc. (Or /usr/local/*, you never know which) Oh, and those fun times where something depends on a libxxx.so.N but all that's on the system is libxxx.so.N.M.O and libxxx.so.N.M for some reason, so you have to make the symlink yourself. Or the distribution has a minimum of version N+1, so your option is to find the source for the library, figure out all the -devel packages it needs, and compile it up (hopefully), or just symlink libxxx.so.N to libxxx.so.N+1 and hope it works. And then the fun of figuring out what the package is named. pdf2text lives in poppler, who would have thought. Need gcc? That will be build-essential on Ubuntu last time I needed it. (Not build-essentials, either)

So, a tarball full of statically linked binaries. You can do that on Linux, too.

And, there are some new package managers that isolate in this way (and go well beyond it by containerizing). Flatpak is probably the most promising, IMHO. And, it still provides all the benefits of a good package manager, like verification, authenticity, downloading automatically from a repo, dependency resolution for core libraries. And, the way Flatpak handles the latter feature is really quite cool (and avoids having to distribute dozens of copies of the same libs).

Your description of installing packages on Linux does not match my experience in the past decade. Dependency resolution is a solved problem on Linux, at least on the major distros with good package managers.

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