Last month I pro­posed that the FOSS com­mu­ni­ty cre­ate an inte­grat­ed soft­ware installer for Win­dows and Mac OS that only includ­ed FOSS appli­ca­tions. If Google can make Google Pack, I opined, why can’t we make a FOSS Pack?

As I had expect­ed, my idea was already realised, at least in part. Win­Li­bre and MacLi­bre pro­vide a menu of free/libre soft­ware pack­ages for the user to choose from, and can auto­mat­i­cal­ly install them for you.

That’s a big step in the right direc­tion, albeit not the beau­ty we have on GNU/Linux through tools like Add/Remove Appli­ca­tions and apt-url. It haven’t tried them (I rarely use Win­dows and I don’t have a Mac), but here’s what I think they need to tru­ly shine (based on my last post on the sub­ject):

  • an updates man­age­ment ser­vice, that auto­mat­i­cal­ly checks for avail­able updates and installs them for you
  • an abil­i­ty to clean­ly remove the soft­ware just as eas­i­ly as it was installed
  • a file sys­tem scan­ner that rec­om­mends FOSS soft­ware to install, based on the soft­ware and file types it finds on the hard dri­ve

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